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European stocks declined, snapping the longest stretch of gains in six months, after Moody’s Investors Service put Spain’s debt rating on review for a possible downgrade.
Banco Santander SA, Spain’s largest bank, and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA both fell in Madrid. Inditex SA slid 5.5 percent after the world’s largest clothing retailer reported a slowing in profit growth. Drugmakers limited declines after Novartis AG said it will take full control of Alcon Inc., ending an 11-month dispute with minority shareholders.
Stocks pared losses after reports showed U.S. industrial production increased more than forecast in November while manufacturing in the New York region rebounded more than estimated in December.
U.S. stocks fell, dragging the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down from a two-year high, after a six-day rally left the benchmark gauge trading at its most expensive level since June and a surge in bond yields fueled concern that borrowing costs will increase.
General Electric Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Alcoa Inc. dropped at least 1.5 percent for the biggest declines in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. fell more than 2 percent as Canada’s competition watchdog said they use unfair rules to prevent merchants from accepting cheaper payment options. Chipmakers slumped after Gartner Inc. predicted spending on semiconductor equipment will drop next year.
The S&P 500 slipped 0.5 percent to 1,235.94 at 3:12 p.m. in New York. The index closed with a 15.5 price-earnings ratio yesterday, the highest in almost six months. The Dow lost 10.44 points, or 0.1 percent, to 11,466.10. Te-year Treasury yields, which influence rates on consumer loans, rose three basis points to 3.50 percent after surging 22 points yesterday.
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