US stocks fall on mixed economic data

Updated: 2013-01-16 04:56


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NEW YORK - The US stocks dipped on Tuesday on mixed economic data.

The main stock indices sank, following a pre-market drop, as the European equity markets also slightly weakened with Germany reporting a fourth-quarter GDP contraction of 0.5 percent. The full-year GDP growth of the largest economy in Europe came in at 0. 7 percent.

Investors' mood was also dampened by a warning from Fitch Ratings on Tuesday that a failure to raise the federal debt ceiling in time will prompt a review of the US sovereign rating and that the current negative outlook of "AAA" rating may be downgraded.

Mixed economic data released on Tuesday failed to push up Wall Street. US retail sales in December rose by a better-than- expected 0.5 percent, according to the Commerce Department.

Meanwhile, US producer prices in the previous month decreased by a more-than-expected 0.2 percent, the Labor Department said on Tuesday. Core producer prices rose by 0.1 percent.

The Empire Manufacturing Survey for January posted a reading of -7.8, up from the prior month's reading of -8.1, but still much lower than the expected level of 2.0.

The market continued to be affected by the extended losses of Apple. The most valuable company fell over 3 percent, one day after slumping 3.56 percent, as it reportedly cut orders for iPhone 5 parts due to sluggish demand.

In late morning session, the major indices trimmed some of their early losses, but still remained in red territory.

The consumer discretionary sector outperformed the broader market due to encouraging retail sales in December.

In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 24. 15 points, or 0.18 percent, at 13,483.17. The broader S&P 500 Index lost 2.68 points, or 0.18 percent, to 1,468.00. The tech- heavy Nasdaq Composite Index shed 15.32 points, or 0.49 percent, to 3,102.18.