U.S. STOCKS SAG AS INVESTORS DUMP RETAIL SHARES

U.S. equities were lower at the close on Thursday, as losses in the Consumer Services, Basic Materials and Technology sectors propelled shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.20%, while the S&P 500index lost 0.37%, and the NASDAQ Composite index lost 0.62%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ), which rose 1.26% or 0.67 points to trade at 53.64 at the close. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) added 0.54% or 0.64 points to end at 118.55 and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) was up 0.38% or 0.34 points to 90.62 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT), which lost 2.70% or 1.93 points to trade at 69.31 in late trade. Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) declined 1.07% or 1.46 points to end at 135.37 and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) shed 1.05% or 1.23 points to 115.83.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) which rose 12.75% to 23.20, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ALXN) which was up 4.24% to settle at 124.03 and CF Industries Holdings Inc (NYSE:CF) which gained 4.01% to close at 30.06.

The worst performers were Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT) which was down 13.46% to 69.05 in late trade, Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ:BBBY) which lost 9.92% to settle at 41.04 and Nordstrom Inc (NYSE:JWN) which was down 6.07% to 48.10 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were Metabolix Inc (NASDAQ:MBLX) which rose 38.68% to 0.388, Uranium Resources Inc (NASDAQ:URRE) which was up 28.44% to settle at 1.4000 and Tokai Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:TKAI) which gained 20.79% to close at 1.22.

The worst performers were Ovascience Inc (NASDAQ:OVAS) which was down 53.99% to 1.37 in late trade, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AUPH) which lost 21.69% to settle at 2.130 and Real Goods Solar Inc (NASDAQ:RGSE) which was down 20.61% to 0.2778 at the close.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones by 1860 to 1287 and 84 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1592 fell and 883 advanced, while 113 ended unchanged on the New York Stock Exchange.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 1.77% to 11.47.

In commodities trading, Gold for February delivery was down 0.23% or 2.60 to $1130.60 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.67% or 0.35 to hit $52.84 a barrel, while the February Brent oil contract rose 0.99% or 0.54 to trade at $55.00 a barrel.

EUR/USD was up 0.09% to 1.0436, while USD/JPY fell 0.03% to 117.53.

The US Dollar Index was up 0.05% at 103.09.

– Investing.com

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