US stocks retreat from records, Amazon sinks drugstore shares

In this file photo the US flag is seen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on April 30, 2020 in New York City. — AFP pic
In this file photo the US flag is seen at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on April 30, 2020 in New York City. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Nov 17 — Wall Street stocks retreated from records early today following disappointing retail sales, while drugstore shares were hammered by Amazon’s announcement about an online pharmacy.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 28,606.72, down 1.2 per cent after finishing at an all-time high yesterday.

The S&P 500, which also closed at a record yesterday, lost 0.8 per cent to 3,598.65, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.2 per cent to 11,897.63.

Retail sales in October grew by a disappointing 0.3 per cent from last month, according to Commerce Department, which also cut the growth for September.

The data indicate slowing growth in a sector that bounced back from the pandemic downturn faster than most others thanks to massive government assistance that kept consumers flush.

Analysts pointed to the retail report as a factor in today’s weak market open, but also noted that stocks have risen significantly already this month and were due for a pause or pullback.

The rally has been propelled by optimism over coronavirus vaccines that has blunted the worries about skyrocketing Covid-19 cases that are leading to new restrictions on economic activity.

CVS Health slumped 6.7 per cent and Walgreens Boots Alliance plunged 8.7 per cent as Amazon said it was launching an online pharmacy for US consumers, who will be able to order prescription medications directly from the e-commerce giant’s website or mobile app. Amazon rose 1.7 per cent.

Tesla surged 10.7 per cent in the first session since S&P Dow Jones Indices said the electric car company officially qualified to join the prestigious S&P 500. — AFP

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