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Dow, S&P 500 slip

By on May 20, 2015

The Dow and S&P 500 eased off of record highs in early trade Tuesday, as strong United States housing data was offset by disappointing Walmart earnings.

The AFP reported that bout 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 18,295.62, down 3.26 points (0.02 per cent). The S&P 500 was at 2,129.02, down 0.18 (0.01 per cent)

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index meanwhile added 3.63 (0.07 per cent) at 5,082.07.

Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at records Monday.

US housing starts rose 20.2 per cent in April from March to an annual rate of 1,135,000 units, the best level for new home construction since November 2007.

But Dow member Wal-Mart Stores fell 3.4 per cent after reporting a seven per cent decline to $3.3bn in earnings for the quarter ending April 30. The results translated into $1.03 per share, a penny shy of analyst expectations.

Home Depot, another Dow member, rose 0.5 per cent after first-quarter net income jumped 14.5 per cent to $1.6bn. The home improvement retailer lifted its profit forecast after comparable sales surged 6.1 per cent in the quarter.

Urban Outfitters, a youth apparel retailer, dived 16.9 per cent as net income fell 12.5 per cent to $32.8m for the quarter ending April 30.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.29 per cent from 2.23 per cent Monday, while the 30-year advanced to 3.07 per cent to 3.03 per cent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

Meanwhile, the AFP reported that Asian markets mostly rose Tuesday following a record close on Wall Street, but concerns about Greece’s long-running debt-reform talks sent the euro tumbling after a recent rally.