US stocks retreat from records

NEW YORK (AFP) - Banking and petroleum stocks pulled back on Tuesday (May 30), pushing equities lower, as US data pointed to modest inflation and ebbing consumer confidence.

Leading equity indices retreated from Friday's records in the first day of trading of a holiday-shortened week, as analysts pointed to profit taking as the cause of the pull back.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.2 per cent to close the day at 21,029.47.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.1 per cent to end at 2,412.91, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.1 per cent to 6,203.19. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq ended at records on Friday.

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The US Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation remained soft in April, despite a modest increase, while consumer confidence slipped for a second straight month in May, according to data released on Tuesday.

The indicator-rich week culminates Friday with the jobs report for May.

Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase all fell more than 1 per cent, along with oil companies ConocoPhillips and Anadarko Petroleum.

Airlines were another weak sector, with Delta Air Lines falling 3.4 per cent, United Continental 2.5 per cent and American Airlines 1.6 per cent.

Amazon finished up 0.1 per cent, bit shy of the US$1,000-mark in breached for the first time ever just after the open.

Cybersecurity company Symantec rose 1.5 per cent following an upgrade from Barclays.