Declines in Shares of Retailers Pressure U.S. Stocks

By Michael Wursthorn Features Dow Jones Newswires

Retailers pressured U.S. stocks Tuesday, as a wave of quarterly reports disappointed investors.

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Dick's Sporting Goods, Coach and Advance Auto Parts were among the companies that fell short of expectations and contributed to declines in consumer-discretionary shares. The S&P 500 fell 1.23 points, or less than 0.1%, to 2464.61 -- a day after it posted its biggest gain since April.

Despite some weakness in brick-and-mortar retailers, strong corporate results overall have kept major indexes climbing, investors and analysts said.

"In the market, what matters is earnings, earnings, earnings," said Doug Foreman, chief investment officer of investment firm Kayne Anderson Rudnick. "Most of the world is showing a dramatic improvement in corporate profitability and earnings growth, which has been pretty rare."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 5.28 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21998.99. The Nasdaq Composite declined 7.22 points, or 0.1%, to 6333.01.

Gains in shares of financial companies helped mitigate retailers' losses.

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Synchrony Financial rose $1.35, or 4.6%, to $30.99, making it one of the S&P 500's biggest gainers, after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway disclosed Monday that it had opened a large investment in the U.S. store credit-card issuer. The financials sector of the S&P 500 rose 0.2%.

Retailers' earnings were mixed. Dick's Sporting Goods fell $8.04, or 23%, to $26.87 -- its biggest decline on record -- after same-store sales fell short of expectations in the latest quarter and the company lowered its forecast for annual earnings. Advance Auto Parts shares also posted their biggest one-day percentage decline on record, shedding $22.24, or 20%, to $87.08, after the company lowered its 2017 guidance and missed analysts' estimates on profits. Coach, whose profits beat expectations but sales fell short, shed $7.28, or 15%, to $40.64.

Home Depot said it grew same-store sales and raised its outlook for the second time this year. Shares fell $4.09, or 2.7%, to $150.17.

Shares of TJX Companies -- the parent of the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods off-price chains -- added 54 cents, or 0.8%, to $70.16 after reporting strong quarterly sales.

Shares of many brick-and-mortar retailers have tumbled this year as increased competition from e-commerce giants like Amazon.com have cut into profits.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales at retailers and restaurants rose 0.6% from a month earlier, the biggest jump since December, attributing much of the increase to internet sales.

"The source of the retail sales is still the non big-box stores," said Tom Stringfellow, president and chief investment officer of Frost Investments. "It's the internet...It's Amazon Prime."

Stock markets around the world were relatively calm Tuesday after swinging last week following some weak earnings and geopolitical tensions. The Stoxx Europe 600 rose less than 0.1%, while Japan's Nikkei Stock Average added 1.1%.

Investors continued to pull back from assets they consider to be relatively safe stores of value. Gold for August delivery fell 0.82% to $1,273.70 an ounce. The U.S. dollar rose 1% against Japan's yen to Yen110.6780, its largest one-day increase since June 15.

--Justin Yang contributed to this article.

Write to Michael Wursthorn at Michael.Wursthorn@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 15, 2017 18:22 ET (22:22 GMT)