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16.11.2011 18:04

U.S. stocks fell

U.S. stocks fell, retreating after yesterday’s gains, as concern Europe’s debt crisis and higher oil prices will hamper growth overshadowed increases in industrial production and confidence among homebuilders.

Stocks fell after the Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said Britain faces a ‘‘markedly weaker’’ outlook for the economy amid danger from Europe’s crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the nation is prepared to cede some national sovereignty to the European Union to achieve closer economic and political ties. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was sworn in.

Losses were limited after industrial production in the U.S. rose 0.7 percent in October, more than the 0.4 percent median forecast. Confidence among U.S. homebuilders unexpectedly rose in November to the highest level since May 2010. The cost of living in the U.S. unexpectedly fell for the first time in four months, a sign inflationary pressures may be starting to recede.

Dow 12,034.18 -61.98 -0.51%, Nasdaq 2,672.56 -13.64 -0.51%, S&P 500 1,251.26 -6.55 -0.52%

Diversified financial companies slumped amid concern that a global financial crisis could hurt profits. Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley dropped at least 2.6 percent.

Dell Inc. sank 2.2 percent as the third-largest maker of personal computers told investors to expect more slow sales growth for the rest of the year. The company missed third-quarter revenue estimates after walking away from $2 billion in potential PC sales to focus on more profitable technology. It gave up billions in ‘‘low-value’’ PC opportunities because it wanted to preserve margins, Vice Chairman Jeff Clarke told analysts yesterday.

Abercrombie & Fitch tumbled 14 percent, the biggest decline in the S&P 500, to $47.79. The company’s cost of goods sold rose 34 percent to $429.3 million in the three months ended Oct. 29. Abercrombie, along with other apparel retailers, is contending with higher prices for materials such as cotton and oil and higher labor costs in Asia.

Research In Motion Ltd. added 2.2 percent to $19.55. The maker of BlackBerry smartphones was raised to ‘‘neutral” from “sell” at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which cited valuation.

Autodesk Inc. jumped 4.7 percent, the most in the S&P 500, to $35.64. The maker of design software reported third-quarter profit of 44 cents a share, exceeding the 41-cent average analyst estimate.

Market Focus

  • The eurozone started the third quarter on a solid footing, according to PMI survey data
  • Earnings Season in U.S.: Major Reports of the Week
  • German private sector output growth slowed for the second month running in July
  • ECB's Mersch says as conditions normalise, it is unlikely that uncoventional policies will remain necessary
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