US stocks retreat on rate hike worries

New York, Nov 12 (IANS) US stocks reversed early gains to close mildly lower on Wednesday, as Wall Street continued to weigh the likelihood of a year-end rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.99 points, or 0.32 percent, to 17,702.22. The S&P 500 lost 6.72 points, or 0.32 percent, to 2,075.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 16.22 points, or 0.32 percent, to 5,067.02, reported Xinhua.

With no major economic data out Wednesday, the country’s Veterans Day, investors were still assessing the rising odds of a December rate hike following a strong jobs gain in October.

Many analysts believed that the US central bank will raise interest rates next month, as Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the Fed may pull the trigger at its December policy meeting if the US economy is performing well.

Trading volumes were lower than usual as bond markets and banks were closed in observance of Veterans Day.

A plunge in oil prices also weighed on market sentiment. Dragged by diving oil prices, energy sector, the biggest laggard among the S&P 500’s 10 sectors, tumbled 1.91 percent Wednesday.

In corporate news, shares of Macy’s slumped 13.99 percent to $40.44 apiece Wednesday after the release of the company’ s disappointing quarterly results. The US retailer also cut its outlook for the full year.

Macy’s reported earnings per share of 36 cents in the third quarter of 2015, compared with 61 cents per diluted share in the third quarter of 2014.

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