Updated from 4:08 p.m. EDT
Stocks continued to struggle Tuesday, with the
falling for a sixth straight session, as passable retailer earnings and relatively benign economic data failed to bring buyers back into the fold. A key reading on consumer inflation that is due out Wednesday kept trading in a narrow range.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 9.39 points, or 0.42%, to 2229.13, bringing its six-day swoon to 116 points, or 4.9%. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 8.88 points, or 0.08%, to 11,419.89, while the
fell 2.43 points, or 0.19%, to 1292.07.
"Market internals are starting to turn more negative for U.S. equities, with downside risks growing," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with Spencer Clarke LLC. "The Nasdaq market has been the weakest in recent weeks and warrants special attention."
The Dow ended in negative territory despite advances of 1.2% or more in
About 1.69 billion shares changed hands on the
New York Stock Exchange
, while volume on the Nasdaq reached 2.05 billion shares. Decliners matched advancers on both exchanges.
"The market got as much as it could out of economic data today and headlines today," said Paul Nolte, director of investments with Hinsdale Associates. "It's lining up that the economy is slowing and for the
to move to the sidelines. But with the metals and energy complex still affecting us, the market hasn't taken the good news to heart."
According to the Labor Department, the producer price index rose 0.9% in April, while the so-called core index, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.1%. Economists were expecting a 0.8% gain in the headline PPI and a 0.2% rise in the core number. A separate report on housing starts was weaker than expected.
"The core rate was a little better than expected, balancing out a worse-than-expected headline number," said Ken Tower, chief market strategist with CyberTrader. "This doesn't really change much for investors."
To view Gregg Greenberg's video take on today's market, click here
On Wednesday, the Labor Department releases the consumer price index, which generally carries more weight with Fed policymakers.
"The housing number shows that increases in the interest rates may already be working," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist with Windham Financial. "That means the Fed may not need to raise interest rates at a quicker pace in the future. This will put a dampening on having to go faster and further. However, this is just one number in a scheme of things."
Also, Fed data on industrial production showed a 0.8% rise in April, while capacity utilization rose to 81.9%. Both figures were ahead of expectations.
Following the data, the 10-year Treasury bond, whose yield has risen 80 basis points in 2006 following two years of Fed tightening, rose 13/32 to yield 5.10%. The dollar fell against the yen and the euro.
"It's all about the economic data this week," said Peter Cardillo, chief market strategist with SW Bach & Co. "This week's data is critical, since we've been gripped with inflation fears. Unexpected high readings on core numbers this week could really hurt us. Bond yields could still shoot higher. The fear of inflation creeping into prices could be met as we get the data this week."
In earnings news, Wal-Mart said first-quarter profit rose 6% to $2.62 billion, or 63 cents a share, beating estimates by 2 cents. The company sees second-quarter net of 70 cents to 74 cents; analysts had 74 cents. Wal-Mart climbed 64 cents, or 1.4%, to finish at $48.07.
also beat forecasts, posting first-quarter earnings of $1.48 billion, or 70 cents a share, on a 13% rise in sales to $21.46 billion. Analysts were predicting earnings of 67 cents a share on sales of $21.63 billion. Home Depot was lower by $2.05, or 5.1% to close at $38.45.
, the Vancouver-based miner whose shares are up 53% this year, said first-quarter earnings tripled from a year ago. Goldcorp earned $92.4 million, or 24 cents a diluted share, on sales of $286.3 million in the period. Analysts were forecasting earnings of 26 cents a share on sales of $329.3 million. Shares gave up 77 cents, or 2.3%, to $33.15.
The underperformance illustrates how soaring hopes in the commodities sector have raised the bar for mining and extraction stocks, most of which tanked on Friday and Monday. That performance partially reversed Tuesday, with gold adding $7.90 to close at $692.90 an ounce. Since peaking at $732 Friday, gold is down about 5.7%. Copper and silver rose 2.5% and 1.5%, respectively, retracing a two-day decline that has raised concerns that a bubble is popping in heretofore booming metals markets.
Resource stocks were mixed despite the gains in gold, silver and copper.
was higher by 1.6% and
added 0.1%, while
finished down 1.5% and
was lower by 1.4%.
In other markets Tuesday, June crude was up 12 cents to finish a volatile session at $69.53 a barrel. Natural gas was up 14 cents to close at $6.26 per million British thermal units.
By sector, the Amex Gold Bugs index lost 0.7%, having lost 12.9% over the previous three sessions. The S&P Retail index slid 2.2%, the Philadelphia Housing Sector index fell 1.1%, and the Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was lower by 0.3%.
In other earnings,
BJ's Wholesale Club
posted first-quarter earnings of $15.4 million, or 23 cents a share, down from $18.6 million, or 27 cents, last year. Excluding items, the retailer had earnings of 24 cents a share. The Thomson First Call consensus was for EPS of 19 cents. BJ's was higher by 12 cents, or 0.4%, to $29.72.
posted first-quarter earnings of $81.5 million, or 60 cents a share, up from $16.2 million, or 11 cents a share, last year. Results included a net after-tax gain of 52 cents a share from the sale of assets. The Thomson First Call average estimate was for a profit of 9 cents. However, sales fell $1.04 billion from $1.55 billion a year ago. The stock finished down 8 cents, or 0.5%, to $16.39.
After the bell Tuesday,
reported second-quarter earnings of $1.46 billion, or 51 cents a share, up from $966 million, or 33 cents a share, last year. Excluding items, H-P had EPS of 54 cents, beating the Thomson First Call average estimate by a nickel. For the session, the stock finished down 52 cents, or 1.6%, to $31.11, but traded up almost 5% in the after-hours session.
filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission against
. The filing states that Apple's iPod infringes on patents that Creative has for its own media player.
Creative rose 29 cents, or 5.3%, to $5.75. Meanwhile, Apple fell $2.81, or 4.2%, to $64.98.
Among ratings moves, Bear Stearns upgraded BlackBerry maker
Research In Motion
( RIMM) to peer perform from underperform, citing valuation. Elsewhere, Morgan Stanley upgraded
XM Satellite Radio
( XMSR) to overweight from equal-weight on potential upside for shares.
Shares of RIM added 46 cents, or 0.7%, to $71.12. XM Satellite Radio closed up 67 cents, or 4%, to $17.63.
Overseas markets were mostly lower Tuesday. London's FTSE 100 was up 0.1% to 5846 while Germany's Xetra DAX fell 0.1% to 5852. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei plunged 2% overnight to 16,158, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6% to 16,393.