Wall Street stocks slide as retail earnings weigh

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 11.
Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 11. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Retailer, banks and energy shares were among the biggest losers on Friday as US stocks closed a choppy week of trade sharply lower.

The losses came after another round of poor earnings from retailers Nordstrom and JC Penney, which shed 13.4 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively. However, US retail sales for April rose a better-than-expected 1.3 per cent.

"Part of this is fatigue," said Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial. "Ever since we put in a high on April 20 it's been tough to keep a rally going."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.1 per cent at 17,535.32.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.9 per cent at 2,046.61, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.4 per cent to 4,717.68.

Other retailers also dragged on the market, including Wal-Mart, leading the Dow lower with a 2.9 per cent drop, and Target, down 2.3 per cent.

Financials took a hit. Bank of America tumbled 1.8 per cent and JPMorgan Chase lost 0.9 per cent. Big industrial names sank, including Caterpillar and Boeing, off a respective 2.3 per cent and 1.7 per cent.

Apple rose 0.2 per cent after announcing a US$1 billion (S$1.37 billion) investment in Chinese taxi app Didi Chuxing, a rival to Uber, in a move to boost its understanding of the massive Chinese consumer market.

Worries about Apple's place in China have weighed on the stock over the last couple of weeks.

Chipmaker Nvidia leaped 15.2 per cent after reporting a 46.3 per cent rise in first-quarter earnings to US$196 million, as it pointed to growth in all its major businesses, including gaming, professional visualisation and automotive.