Wall Street stocks finished little changed Wednesday
New York - AFP
Wall Street stocks finished little changed Wednesday in choppy trade following a lackluster US retail sales report and disappointing earnings from Macy's.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 7.74 points (0.04 percent) to 18,060.49.
The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.64 (0.03 percent) to 2,098.48, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 5.50 (0.11 percent) to 4,981.69.
US retail and food services sales totaled $436.8 billion in April, essentially unchanged from March, according to Commerce Department data.
Macy's, one of the first prominent retailers to report earnings, fell 2.5 percent after announcing first-quarter results that missed market expectations. The company blamed the West Coast port slowdown and severe winter weather early in the quarter for sales that came in lower than it had forecast.
Other retailers dropped, including Dow member Wal-Mart Stores (-1.0 percent), Target (-1.2 percent) and Best Buy (-1.6 percent).
Dow member DuPont dived 6.8 percent after a shareholder vote defeated an attempt to shake up the chemicals giant by activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management. Shareholders rejected all four Trian board nominees, including Peltz.
Water-filtration company Pall rose 4.4 percent on news it will be acquired by industrial company Danahar for $13.8 billion. Pall had risen 19.4 percent on Tuesday on reports of a pending acquisition deal.
Danaher also announced it would split into two independent companies: a science and technology growth company including Pall and NewCo, and a diversified industrial growth company. It advanced 1.6 percent.
Facebook rose 1.3 percent as it unveiled a long-anticipated deal with news publishers which allows the social network to deliver articles directly to readers. Partners in the Launch include The New York Times, NBC, BBC News and Spiegel.
Pipeline and midstream petroleum company Williams announced it would acquire the remaining shares of Williams Partners for $13.8 billion, lifting its stake in the master limited partnership from 60 percent. Williams also announced it was hiking its dividend by 33 percent. Williams Partners rose 22.7 percent, while Williams gained 6.2 percent.
Delta Air Lines added 1.5 percent after announcing a 50 percent dividend increase and a $5 billion share repurchase program.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.29 percent from 2.25 percent Tuesday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.08 percent from 3.02 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.