Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average    finished lower Tuesday for the first time in nine sessions.
  • The S&P 500   declined for the first time in five trading days.
  • Home Depot Inc. (HD) fell 1.6% after same-store sales missed analysts' expectations.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks fell sharply on Tuesday, May 15, as investors awaited the beginning of the next round of trade talks between the U.S. and China and as government bond yields rose above 3%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 193 points, or 0.78%, to 24,706. The S&P 500 fell 0.68% and the Nasdaq was off 0.81%. Leading the Dow lower were Intel Corp. (INTC) , Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) and 3M Co. (MMM) .

With the Dow riding an eight-session winning streak, investors were booking profits Tuesday after the U.S. dollar index, a measure of the greenback's strength against a basket of six global currencies, jumped to 93.05, following a sustained move over 3% for the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury.

The second round of trade talks between the U.S. and China begins Tuesday in Washington with the two sides still "very far apart" on key issues such as intellectual property protections and agricultural tariffs, according to Terry Branstad, the U.S. ambassador to China.

U.S. retail sales in April rose 0.3%, meeting economists' forecasts. The Empire State Manufacturing Survey for May came in at 20.1,  up from the prior month's 15.8.

Home Depot Inc. ( HD) posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings but said same-store sales were hit by the colder winter temperatures that also have impacted activity in the key spring period.

Home Depot said earnings for the three months ended in April were $2.08 a share, topping the Wall Street consensus of $2.05. Revenue rose 4.4% to $24.9 billion, narrowly missing the consensus forecast of $25.16 billion as same-store sales grew 4.2%. The Atlanta-based retailer also confirmed full-year sales guidance of 6.7% growth and a comparable same-store sales growth rate of 5%.

"We are pleased by the strength of our business despite a slow start to the spring selling season," said CEO Craig Menear. "Outside of our seasonal business, we had solid results in all markets and categories and are seeing strong momentum in all lines of business during these first few weeks of May."

"These trends, as well as a favorable housing and macroeconomic backdrop, give us confidence to reaffirm our sales and earnings guidance for fiscal 2018," he added.

Home Depot fell 1.6% on Tuesday.

Seattle's City Council passed a scaled-down version of a new corporate tax aimed at tackling a housing crisis in Washington state's biggest metropolis that lawmakers said was linked to the economic boom created by companies such as Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) and Starbucks Corp.  (SBUX) .

The so-called Amazon Tax will cost the city's biggest companies, with annual sales of more than $20 million, around $275 a year for each full-time employee over a period of five years. While that figure is about half of the original proposal of $500, Seattle hopes to raise around $250 million from the new tax plan and use the cash to build affordable housing and improve services for the city's homeless.

Executives at Action Alerts PLUS holding Amazon and Starbucks blasted the decision, with the former suggesting it may re-think its expansion plans in a city in which it employs 40,000 people.

Amazon fell 1.6%, while Starbucks was down nearly 1%.

Ford Motor Co. (F)  rose 0.3% despite shares of the automaker were downgraded to neutral from overweight at Piper Jaffray. 

Shares of Micron Technology Inc. (MU)  rose 1.9% to $54.01 after the stock's price target was raised by Stifel analyst Kevin Cassidy to $101 from $95.