In the last hour of trading in New York, the Dow was down 0.3% or 43 points at 15,038 and at these levels is on course for its fourth session in a row of losses, which would be the longest losing streak so far this year. The S&P 500 was down 0.39% and is also facing a run of four losses in a row.
Saks today became the latest retailer to post disappointing results, reporting a bigger-than-expected loss for its fiscal second quarter. Revenue came in below estimates, while costs increased, leading to a loss of 13 cents per share, much wider than the 8 cents per share loss that had been forecast by a Reuters survey of analysts.
We heard a succession of similar stories from other companies in the same sector last week, with Macy’s, Nordstrom and Wal-Mart all reporting below-par sales. We have more retailers reporting after the bell tonight, including Urban Outfitters.
Despite the lacklustre nature of the wider market, it’s been a good day for technology stocks, with Apple, Google and Intel all advancing well over 1%. Today marks the ninth anniversary of Google’s flotation. Back in 2004 shares were sold at $85 as part of its IPO. At the time of writing, Google was up 1.36% at $868, the company’s market capitalisation being some $270-odd billion more than at the time it floated. What a difference nine years can make.