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Most U.S. stocks retreated, following a four-week gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as investors weighed whether a Chinese slowdown will lead to an easing of monetary policy at the world’s second-largest economy.
Global stocks fell as China had the biggest trade deficit in at least 22 years, the weakest January-February factory- production gain since 2009 and retail sales were below the median economist estimate. Euro-area finance ministers gather in Brussels today to sign off on the 130 billion-euro ($170 billion) second package for Greece as they focus on Spain’s budget-cutting efforts and Portugal’s aid program.
Dow 12,964.71 +42.69 +0.33%, Nasdaq 2,985.32 -3.02 -0.10%, S&P 500 1,371.46 +0.59 +0.04%
Measures of energy and raw material shares in the S&P 500 retreated amid concern about slower demand. Newmont Mining, the largest U.S. gold producer, dropped 2 percent to $55.77. Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield-services provider, declined 2.4 percent to $74.
Two of the largest commodity producers didn’t follow the group’s declines. Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) rose 1.3 percent, the most in the Dow, to $85.39. Alcoa Inc. (AA), the largest U.S. aluminum producer, added 0.9 percent to $9.90.
Banks had the second-biggest decline among 24 industries in the S&P 500, dropping 0.9 percent. JPMorgan slumped 1.3 percent to $40.50. Morgan Stanley decreased 1.4 percent to $18.11. Wells Fargo & Co. retreated 1 percent to $31.36.
Oracle fell 1.7 percent to $29.62. The software maker was cut to hold from buy at Jefferies Group Inc., citing “greater challenges” to its engineered systems strategy.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. fell 5.9 percent to $46.69. The luxury-goods maker and retailer named for the designer who founded it filed for a secondary offering of 25 million shares.
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