Dull data leaves US stocks largely flat

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks traded largely flat on Monday under the shadow of poor Chinese economic data and an only slight gain in US monthly retail sales.

The S&P 500 managed to set a new closing record, but only on the back of an almost negligible 0.07 point gain from the previous mark Friday, ending at 1,633.77.

The narrower blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 26.81 (0.18 per cent) to 15,091.68, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 2.21 (0.06 per cent) at 3,438.79.

US retail sales edged up a tepid 0.1 per cent in April, though that was better than the 0.3 per cent decline analysts expected.

In China, industrial output data from April suggested slower growth in the world's second-largest economy.

The Dow sagged under the weight of Alcoa, which lost 2.0 per cent, and Intel, down 1.7 per cent.

Eli Lilly's 53 per cent rise in first-quarter earnings and improved margins pushed its shares up 2.7 per cent, pulling other big pharmaceutical firms with it: Pfizer gained 2.3 per cent, Bristol Myers Squibb 1.1 per cent, Merck 0.5 per cent, and AstraZeneca 0.5 per cent.

Electric sports car builder Tesla continued to power higher, adding 14.4 per cent, putting it up 52 per cent in the past week amid new confidence in its future.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble, which picked up last week on reports of a possible buyout of it Nook assets by Microsoft, sank 9.5 per cent after an online report said the deal was off.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 1.92 per cent from 1.90 per cent late Friday, while the 30-year increased to 3.13 per cent from 3.10 per cent. Bond prices move inversely to yields.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.