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US stocks end lower on mixed earnings

US stocks closed lower on Wednesday following mixed earnings and a surprising rise in producer prices, snapping a five-day winning streak for the Dow that included three straight record closings.

NEW YORK: US stocks closed lower on Wednesday following mixed earnings and a surprising rise in producer prices, snapping a five-day winning streak for the Dow that included three straight record closings.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 101.47 points (0.61 per cent) to 16,613.97.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 8.92 points (0.47 per cent) to 1,888.53, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 29.54 points (0.72 per cent) to 4,100.63.

Both retailer Macy's and agricultural equipment manufacturer Deere & Company reported higher earnings than expected, but said sales declined compared with the year-ago period. Macy's shares were flat while Deere lost 2.0 per cent.

The US producer price index, an indicator of inflation, rose 0.6 per cent in April, far above analysts' average estimate of a 0.2 per cent rise.

Analysts were nevertheless surprised by the fall in bond yields on a higher inflation indicator: the yield on the 10-year US Treasury bond dropped to 2.54 per cent from 2.62 per cent Tuesday.

The drop in bond yields "spooked the stock market a little bit," said Mace Blicksilver, director at Marblehead Asset Management.

Dow member IBM fell 1.8 per cent after confirming its medium-term earnings forecasts at an investor day. Cantor Fitzgerald cited "clear progress" on some initiatives, but said "we sense continued investor scepticism around IBM at the meeting."

Yahoo acquired messaging application Blink for an undisclosed amount. Blink competes with Snapchat by letting people send digital messages, pictures, or voice files designed to erase themselves shortly after being opened. Yahoo shares fell 0.7 per cent.

The New York Times Company dropped 4.5 per cent on news that Jill Abramson, executive editor of its flagship newspaper, would step down and be replaced by managing editor Dean Baquet.

Investors punished accessory-maker Fossil after it projected second-quarter earnings of 90-97 cents, well below the US$1.16 expected by analysts. Shares sank 10.3 per cent.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 30-year fell to 3.38 per cent from 3.45 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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