Wall Street is falling after weak retail sales data

Wall Street’s main indices started the day lower after weak retail sales data in March indicated the economy was slowing, while strong earnings from three big US banks helped ease fears of further pressure on the sector.

According to , the Dow Jones index fell 47.98 points, or 0.14 percent, to 33,981.71 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 6.11 points, or 0.15 percent, to 4,140.11 points, while the Nasdaq index fell 48.36 points, or 0.40 percent, to 12,117.91 points.

During yesterday’s trading, the main indicators on Wall Street began to rise, as moderate data for producer prices in March and a jump in weekly jobless claims calmed investor concerns about the extent to which the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to combat inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 22.47 points, or 0.07 percent, to 33,668.97 points. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8.09 points, or 0.20 percent, in early trading, to 4,100.04 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 68.09 points, by 0.57 percent, to 11,997.42 points.

On the other hand, European stocks rose yesterday, supported by gains in luxury goods companies after a report showed that LVMH achieved strong sales in the first quarter and on hopes that the Federal Reserve will stop the monetary tightening cycle after inflation data came out less than expected. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index rose 0.3 percent. The Stoxx 50 index of leading stocks rose 0.4 percent, after reaching its highest level in 22 years yesterday.

LVMH, the world’s largest luxury company, jumped 4.5 percent after announcing a 17 percent increase in first-quarter sales that exceeded previous estimates as business in China rebounded sharply.

Shares of other companies such as the Swiss luxury goods “Richemont” rose 3.8 percent and the French “Hermes” rose 2.9 percent.

In Britain, there was little change in the Financial Times 100 index after data showed that the British economy failed to achieve growth as expected in February, as public sector workers’ strikes affected production.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei index rose for the fifth consecutive session amid optimism about the recovery of the local retail sector, while financial stocks were affected by recession fears in the United States.

The Nikkei index closed up 0.26 percent, to compensate for the losses it recorded early, and to achieve the longest winning streak in more than a month. The broader Topix index ended up 0.05 percent.

Aon rose 2.7 percent, leading gainers on the Nikkei index, after the retailer said revenue in the year to February reached an all-time high amid expectations of record profits next year.

“As evidenced by the retail companies’ results, the increased movement of people and the recovery of domestic travel are boosting the economy,” said Maki Sawada, a strategist at Nomura.

On the Nikkei index, 128 stocks fell into the red zone, compared to 89 stocks in the green zone. Financial and technology companies were the biggest losers on the index.

Bank Resuna Holdings fell 1.62 percent, while chip equipment maker Tokyo Electron fell 1.57 percent.

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