FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
The Dow and S&P 500 both sunk into the red Wednesday as telecommunication, utility and financial shares came under pressure.
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As of 3:10 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 61.1 points, or 0.44%, to 13957, the S&P 500 dipped 2.1 points, or 0.14%, to 1517 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 2.3 points, or 0.07%, to 3189.
The worst performers could be found among the telecom, utility, financial and health-care sectors. Meanwhile industrials and materials broadly outperformed.
The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.1% in January from December, as expected. Excluding the auto segment, sales were up 0.2%, slightly above the 0.1% estimated. In addition to being the first glimpse of first-quarter retail performance, they will also be the first indicator of how the 2% hike in payroll taxes is impacting consumers, according to Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG.
Meanwhile, a separate report from Commerce showed U.S. import prices jumped 0.6% in January from December, slightly less than the 0.7% expected, while export prices rose 0.3% as expected.
In corporate news, Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) revealed plans to purchase General Electric's (NYSE:GE) 49% common stock stake in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion after the closing bell on Tuesday. Shares of both companies jumped.
Deere (NYSE:DE) also posted considerably better-than-expected quarterly results and lifted its full-year outlook, sending shares of the equipment-maker climbing. Earnings from networking heavyweight Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) are on tap after the closing bell.
Elsewhere, oil futures were slightly to the downside. The benchmark U.S. contract fell 50 cents, or 0.51%, to $97.01 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline dipped 0.49% to $3.035 a gallon. Gold slipped $4.50, or 0.27%, to $1,645 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.22% to 2655, the English FTSE 100 gained 0.29% to 6357 and the German DAX climbed 0.61% to 7707.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 sold off by 1% to 11251.