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Saturday 22nd of January 2011
July 18, 2006    

Retailers take New York markets lower

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by Elaine Frei

A combination of continuing concerns about the Middle East, lack of investor enthusiasm over quarterly earnings reports, and producer price inflation data that was above expectations to the New York equities markets lower at mid-session on Tuesday. Producer prices, which were expected to remain level in June, were 0.5 percent higher overall, with the core PPI at 0.2 percent higher.

By midday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.1 percent lower to 10,734.87, while the Nasdaq composite had dropped 0.5 percent to 2,928.34 and the S&P 500 had fallen 0.2 percent to 1,231.91.

The retail sector was down as investors worried about a downturn in sales. Target dropped 5.3 percentr to $45.01 after it said it was lowering its sales forecast. The announcement led AG Edwards to downgrade its recommendation on the discount retailer from “buy” to “hold”. Elsewhere in the sector, Nordstrom declined by 3.9 percent to $32.25, while JC Penney was down 4.3 percent to $62.82 and Federated Department Stores was 4.6 percent lower to $32.92.

Merrill Lynch dropped 1.9 percent to $67.01 even though its profits were up a reported 44 percent in the second quarter.

United Technologies and Coca-Cola also reported quarterly results that were better than expected. United Technologies, with earnings up 14 percent, added 1.1 percent to $58.58. Coca-Cola was 1.2 percent higher to $43.19 on its report showing profits up by 7 percent in the second quarter.

In the engineering sector, ITT Industries was up 4.5 percent to $47.81 on an upgrade from “neutral” to “buy” from Merrill Lynch.

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