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Stocks Slip Despite Rise in Car Sales, Climb in Factory Orders

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock markets declined Tuesday after an iffy session a day earlier. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average made the biggest gains Monday, the Nasdaq slipped and the S&P 500 all but flat-lined following an accounting error in ISM manufacturing data for May, a litmus test for broad economic health.

The Dow slipped 0.16% to 16,717.49, while the S&P 500 fell 0.15% to 1,922.16 and the Nasdaq fell 0.3% to 4,226.32.

GM (GM) said sales in May rose a surprisingly strong 13%, leading to the automaker's best month since August 2008 despite widespread publicity surrounding its 13.6 million U.S. recalls so far this year.

GM shares rose 0.8% to $35.12.

U.S. factory orders rose 0.7% in April, followingd a 1.5% increase in March and a 1.7% gain in February.

European markets slipped and the euro strengthened on the latest consumer price index data which slowed to 0.5% in May, sparking concerns of deflation. The deceleration also gives the European Central Bank room to engage in monetary easing and to edge inflation higher to a target 2% when its meets on Thursday.

In individual stock movements, Hillshire Brands (HSH) was rallying yet again as the tug-of-war over it continues. The food processor was up 9.2% to $58.49 after Pilgrim's Pride (PPC) upped its bid to $55 a share, or $7.7 billion, from $45 a share, or $6.4 billion, offered a week earlier. 

Meanwhile, surf and skate clothing company Quiksilver (ZQK - Get Report) was being mercilessly pummeled, tanking 37.5% to $3.62, after reporting that quarterly net losses widened to 15 cents a share. Analysts' estimates were for losses of 2 cents a share. Revenue tumbled 10.4% to $408 million. T

Krispy Kreme (KKD) was having a similarly rough time Tuesday, down 14.5% to $16.25, as management lowered full-year EPS guidance to 69 cents to 74 cents a share, below estimates of 76 cents a share.

Keep an eye on FuelCell (FCEL), Mattress Firm Holding (MFRM), and Rentrak (RENT) with the three scheduled to release earnings after the bell.

-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.

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