S&P 500 Has First Back-to-Back Decline in One Month; GE Slides

U.S. stocks fell, with the S&P 500 Index posting its first back-to-back decline in one month, as April consumer prices and retail sales reports reinforced expectations for tepid economic growth while Nordstrom Inc. became the latest retailer to miss estimates.

The S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent to 2,390.90 at 4 p.m. in New York, retreating for a second day after hitting an all-time high on Wednesday. The measure is down 0.4 percent over five days, ending three weeks of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined for a fourth day, falling 0.1 to 20,896.61.

  • Lower Treasury yields hit financial shares, which posted the second-biggest loss among 11 S&P 500 industry groups while utilities rose the most.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index fell 1.9 percent to 10.40, snapping a three-day gain. It reached a record low on Monday.
  • Nordstrom Inc. slumped 11 percent after first-quarter earnings missed estimates. It followed department-store peers in posting weak sales.
  • General Electric Co. fell the most in the Dow, erasing 2.1 percent, after Deutsche Bank AG recommended selling the shares, adding pressure to a company already feeling heat from activist investor Trian Fund Management.
  • ECONOMY: 
    • Consumer prices rebounded last month, though at a slower pace than expected, while retail sales advanced after an unexpected drop in March. Traders are pricing in an almost 100 percent chance the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in June.
  • POLITICS: 
    • Investors are keeping an eye on events in the White House after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. His ouster has polarized Democrats and unnerved some Republicans, and raised concerns it could overshadow the administration’s efforts to repeal Obamacare and cut taxes.

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