Wall Street finished lower on Wednesday, following the release of data revealing a third consecutive month of falling retail sales, with some investors also carefully watching the special election to the US House of Representatives in the state of Pennsylvania.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 1% at 24,758.12, the S&P 500 lost 0.57% to 2,749.48, and the Nasdaq 100 was off 0.08% at 7,040.98.

According to the Department of Commerce, US retail sales volumes shrank by 0.1% month-on-month in February, against a consensus forecast for 0.3%.

Markets were also keeping tabs on polls ahead of the special election to the US House of Representatives in the state of Pennsylvania, next Tuesday, which were showing the Republican and Democratic candidates running neck-in-neck.

Some observers were looking to the result as a bellwether ahead of the midterm elections in the fall, with some arguing that a Democratic win might weigh on investor sentiment.

Stocks had ended in the red on Tuesday as investors mulled over news that President Trump had sacked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced with him CIA director Mike Pompeo.

The sacking came just days after Gary Cohn's departure, sparking concerns that Trump has lost two key figures when it comes to economic and foreign policy.

Adding to jitters, a report in the NY Times from the day before had suggested that further personnel changes might be on the cards over the coming week in the top ranks of the US administration.

In corporate news, shares of Signet Jewelers plummeted 20.23% following the release of its fourth-quarter earnings.

Discount big-box giant Walmart slipped 0.71% after it revealed that it was expanding its online grocery delivery service from six US metro areas to more than 100 in total by the end of the year.

Broadcom confirmed it had withdrawn and terminated its offer to buy Qualcomm after President Trump blocked it on the grounds of national security.

“Although we are disappointed with this outcome, Broadcom will comply with the order,” it said.

Share in Qualcomm finished the session ahead 0.7%.

Dow Jones – Risers

Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $45.28 0.27%
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $103.87 0.16%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $51.86 0.15%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $66.20 0.05%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $158.24 0.01%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $48.45 -0.41%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $129.58 -0.44%
Visa Inc. (V) $122.58 -0.50%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $177.25 -0.53%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $93.85 -0.59%

Dow Jones – Fallers

Boeing Co. (BA) $330.26 -2.48%
Dowdupont Inc. (DWDP) $68.99 -2.24%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $43.78 -1.77%
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) $264.34 -1.53%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $132.32 -1.51%
3M Co. (MMM) $234.28 -1.38%
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) $73.60 -1.25%
Chevron Corp. (CVX) $115.14 -1.14%
JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) $114.95 -1.12%
General Electric Co. (GE) $14.27 -1.11%

S&P 500 – Risers

TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP) $44.05 4.19%
Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $83.31 3.88%
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) $113.28 3.42%
Edison International (EIX) $63.81 2.82%
Allergan plc (AGN) $166.96 2.37%
Progressive Corp. (PGR) $61.44 2.32%
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PEG) $48.45 2.24%
Ford Motor Co. (F) $11.02 2.23%
NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE) $158.01 2.16%
VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) $123.01 2.07%

S&P 500 – Fallers

Signet Jewelers Ltd (SIG) $38.22 -20.23%
United States Steel Corp. (X) $38.38 -4.62%
Johnson Controls International plc (JCI) $37.22 -4.27%
Alcoa Corporation (AA) $46.56 -4.16%
Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC) $136.55 -4.03%
Range Resources Corp. (RRC) $15.04 -3.53%
Altria Group Inc. (MO) $63.82 -3.49%
Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG) $43.46 -3.10%
PulteGroup Inc. (PHM) $29.55 -2.92%
Kohls Corp. (KSS) $62.25 -2.90%

Nasdaq 100 – Risers

Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL) $83.31 3.88%
Expedia Inc. (EXPE) $113.28 3.42%
Netflix Inc. (NFLX) $321.55 1.79%
Asml Holdings N.V. (ASML) $211.53 1.69%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $122.68 1.32%
Facebook Inc. (FB) $184.19 1.27%
Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) $127.97 1.11%
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) $341.42 1.09%
Workday, Inc. (WDAY) $138.79 1.06%
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Class B (FOX) $37.23 1.03%

Nasdaq 100 – Fallers

Tesla Inc (TSLA) $326.63 -4.45%
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO) $109.23 -3.75%
Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (ULTA) $201.99 -3.08%
Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) $340.96 -2.59%
Incyte Corp. (INCY) $92.26 -2.50%
Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI) $74.22 -2.25%
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (WBA) $68.55 -1.88%
J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (JBHT) $119.81 -1.79%
Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR) $92.81 -1.71%
American Airlines Group (AAL) $55.28 -1.69%


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