US STOCKS-Wall St lower as retail shares weigh; Fed minutes eyed
* Fed April meeting minutes to be released at 2 p.m. ET
* Target falls as sales miss estimates
* Wal-Mart, Costco also fall following Target results
* Tesla up after Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS ) upgrades to "buy"
* Indexes down: Dow 0.44 pct, S&P 0.30 pct, Nasdaq 0.09 pct
(Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened lower on Wednesday as
a fall in retail shares weighed ahead of the release of minutes
from the Federal Reserve's April meeting.
Shares of Target TGT.N were down 8.3 percent at $67.50
after its quarterly sales missed expectations.
Dow-component Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT ) WMT.N , which reports results
on Thursday, was also down 3 percent at $63.10. Costco Wholesale
COST.O slipped 2.8 percent to $139.61.
The Fed minutes, scheduled to be released at 2 p.m. ET (1800
GMT), could give clues on the path of rate hikes. Dallas Fed
President Robert Kaplan said on Tuesday he will advocate for a
hike in June or July. Two other Fed officials said they expect
up to three increases this year.
The central bank next meets on June 14-15 but chances of a
hike in June are slim. Traders see a 58 percent probability of a
rate hike after the Fed's November meeting, up from about 42
percent on Monday, according to the CME FedWatch tool.
"The market got jittery yesterday after comments from the
Fed officials but what it's really looking for is comments from
Yellen," said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and
derivatives for Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCHW ) in Austin, Texas.
"I think we could see two rate hikes but September and
December are more likely rather than June."
April data on Tuesday showed the biggest rise in U.S.
consumer prices in more than three years as gasoline prices and
rents rose, while other data showed housing starts and
industrial production rebounded strongly.
The strong data and a recovery in oil prices to seven-month
highs have stoked expectations that inflation will rise further.
The Fed has a 2 percent inflation target.
At 9:38 a.m. ET (1338 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average
.DJI was down 77.46 points, or 0.44 percent, at 17,452.52, the
S&P 500 .SPX was down 6.15 points, or 0.3 percent, at 2,041.06
and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was down 4.13 points, or 0.09
percent, at 4,711.61.
Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were lower, with the
consumer staples index's .SPLRCS 1.02 percent fall leading the
Goldman Sachs on Tuesday downgraded equities to "neutral"
over a 12-month time-frame, saying, "until we see sustained
signals of growth recovery, we do not feel comfortable taking
Staples SPLS.O fell 1 percent to $8.20 after the company
said it does not expect top-line growth this year, while Lowe's
LOW.N was up 2.9 percent to $78.15 after the home improvement
chain's quarterly sales exceeded expectations.
Tesla Motors TSLA.O was up 2.4 percent at $209.80 after
Goldman Sachs upgraded the electric car maker's stock to "buy"
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by
1,727 to 872. On the Nasdaq, 1,309 issues fell and 883 advanced.
The S&P 500 index showed three new 52-week highs and five
new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded four new highs and 23 new
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