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US stocks dip as market awaits ECB, jobs report

Wall Street stocks on Tuesday retreated from yesterday's records as investors looked ahead to Thursday's European Central Bank meeting and Friday's monthly US jobs report.

NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks on Tuesday retreated from yesterday's records as investors looked ahead to Thursday's European Central Bank meeting and Friday's monthly US jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 21.29 points (0.13 per cent) to 16,722.34, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.73 points (0.04 per cent) to 1,924.24. Both indices closed at records on Monday.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 3.12 points (0.07 per cent) to 4,234.08.

News highlights on Tuesday included a stream of strong US auto sales that generally bested expectations and a report showing US factory orders rose 0.7 per cent in April, slightly above the 0.5 per cent forecast.

Michael James, managing director of equity trading, rated the day's events as "nothing great or disastrous."

"The market is clearly overbought on a short-term basis," he said. "But things are going to change one way or another" based on the market's interpretation of the ECB's monetary policy decision and Friday's non-farm payrolls numbers, he added.

Brazil-owned US chicken processor Pilgrim's Pride sharply raised its bid for Hillshire Brands to US$7.7 billion, topping last week's counter-offer by Tyson Foods.

Hillshire said it would enter separate discussions with both.

Hillshire shares shot up 9.5 per cent, while Pilgrim's Pride fell 2.2 per cent and Tyson lost 3.0 per cent.

General Motors rose 1.2 per cent after May car sales jumped 13 per cent, while Ford Motor gained 0.7 per cent on a three-percent increase in sales.

Apple, which is hosting its annual developer conference in San Francisco, jumped 1.4 per cent. A Morgan Stanley note said a keynote speech suggested potential revenue growth from iCloud and other applications.

Discount retailer Dollar General advanced 3.9 per cent after reporting first-quarter same-store sales increased 1.5 per cent. The company projected full-year earnings of US$3.45-US$3.55 per share, on track with analyst expectations for US$3.51.

Bond prices fell. The 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.59 per cent from 2.53 per cent, while the 30-year increased to 3.43 per cent from 3.38 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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