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U.S. stocks declined, driving benchmark indexes down from near three-year highs, as American retail sales growth trailed economists’ estimates and investors watched Europe’s attempts to tame its debt crisis.
Equities slumped as the 0.4 percent gain in January retail sales was half the 0.8 percent rise median forecast of economists. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Europe is better prepared for a Greek default than two years ago. European governments will decide “soon” on a second Greek aid program, European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn said.
Dow 12,830.67 -43.37 -0.34%, Nasdaq 2,915.63 -15.76 -0.54%, S&P 500 1,344.84 -6.93 -0.51%
Bank of America (ВАС) lost 2.7 percent, the biggest decline in the Dow, to $8.03. Citigroup downgraded the shares to “neutral” from “buy.”
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. fell 5.4 percent to $13.22. Fourth-quarter profit excluding some items was 3 cents a share, the Akron, Ohio-based company said. That trailed the 21-cent average of seven analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The drop in volume of tires sold reduced revenue by $174 million, Goodyear said.
Masco dropped 12 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $11.61. It reported a fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations of 9 cents a share, wider than the average analyst estimate of a loss of 2 cents.
Gap Inc. rallied 2.6 percent to $22.29. Citigroup raised its recommendation for the largest U.S. specialty apparel chain to “buy” from “neutral” and also lifted its share-price estimate to $26 from $24.
Boeing Co. (BA) added 0.7 percent to $75.35. The planemaker signed a 230-aircraft order worth $22.4 billion at list prices from Indonesian budget carrier PT Lion Mentari Airlines, setting a record.
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