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U.S. stocks retreated, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down 10 percent from this year’s peak in April, as orders to U.S. factories unexpectedly declined and data added to evidence of a slowdown in China.
Equities fell as data showed that factory orders dropped 0.6 percent in April, pointing to a deceleration in manufacturing. China’s non-manufacturing industries expanded at the slowest pace in more than a year. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said that Spain knows where to look for aid if it’s needed, giving no ground to Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s pleas that Germany consider new ideas to resolve the debt crisis.
Industrial, commodity and financial shares had the biggest losses among 10 groups in the S&P 500. The Morgan Stanley Cyclical Index of companies most-tied to the economy slid 1.5 percent. Caterpillar (САТ), the largest maker of construction and mining equipment, dropped 2 percent to $83.83. JPMorgan (JPM) fell 2 percent to $31.28.
Salesforce.com Inc. lost 1.1 percent to $129.55. It agreed to buy Buddy Media Inc. for about $745 million, its biggest purchase ever, adding marketing software to promote products on social sites including Facebook and Twitter Inc.
Chesapeake Energy rallied 1.7 percent to $15.84. Four of the company’s eight non-executive directors will be replaced with nominees of the largest shareholders, Southeastern Asset Management Inc. and Icahn. Icahn triggered the overhaul by acquiring a 7.6 percent stake last month to rein in what he saw as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Aubrey McClendon’s risk- taking and overspending that led to a $22 billion cash crunch and eroded the share price.
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