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U.S. stocks retreat in risk-off trade; Dow Jones down 0.15%

Stock MarketsSep 18, 2012 09:46AM ET
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Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday, following upbeat U.S. economic reports, as market sentiment remained pressured by fresh concerns over the handling of Spain's financial crisis.

During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.15%, the S&P 500 index dropped 0.28%, while the Nasdaq Composite index slipped 0.13%.

Official data showed earlier that the U.S. current account deficit narrowed more-than-expected in the second quarter, falling to USD117.4 billion from a deficit of USD133.6 billion in the previous quarter.

Analysts had expected the current account deficit to narrow to USD125.5 billion in the second quarter.

A separate report showed that U.S. net long-term purchases rose to USD67 billion in July, from USD9.3 billion the previous month, beating expectations for an increase to USD45.3 billion.

Meanwhile, market sentiment remained under pressure after Reuters reported earlier that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy remains uncertain about asking for help from the European Central Bank's new bond-purchasing program, which would mean signing up to a permanent bailout fund.

Earlier Tuesday, Spain's Deputy Prime Minister said the country was still considering the conditions of a possible bailout.

FedEx saw shares drop 1.30%, after the package delivery company cut its profit estimates for its fiscal year 2013 but reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' expectations.

Apple shares also declined, losing 0.28% at the open, after the company's shares rose above USD700 in late trading on Monday, boosted by record first-day orders for the latest iPhone.

The news fueled optimism that the company will keep generating the revenue growth that transformed it into the world’s most valuable business.

Elsewhere in the tech sector, Advanced Micro Devices plunged 7.48% as the chipmaker said its CFO, Thomas Seifert, is leaving the company after joining the company in 2009.

Automakers were mixed after data earlier showed that European car sales fell 8.5% in August, posting an 11th consecutive monthly decline. Shares in Ford Motor tumbled 0.96%, while General Motors climbed 1.22%.

Separately, Ford was scheduled to unveil its redesigned 2013 Fusion. The Fusion has become automaker's best-selling model since it went on sale in 2005.

In the financial sector, U.S. lenders tracked their European counterparts broadly lower, as shares in Citigroup plunged 1.47% and Bank of America retreated 1.40%, while JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs dropped 0.83% and 0.85% respectively.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were sharply lower. The EURO STOXX 50 tumbled 1.13%, France’s CAC 40 dropped 0.99%, Germany's DAX retreated 0.73%, while Britain's FTSE 100 slumped 0.64%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.27%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index dropped 0.39%.

U.S. stocks retreat in risk-off trade; Dow Jones down 0.15%

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