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Stocks skid as Macy’s slashes forecast, reports losses

Traders work on the floor of the New

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street April 29, 2016. Credit: Getty Images / Yana Paskova

Consumer stocks closed solidly lower Wednesday as Macy’s led a rout in retail. The department store chain slashed its profit forecast and reported a steep drop in earnings.

Macy’s dropped 16.2 percent. Office Depot sank 40.5 percent and Staples slumped 18.4 percent after a judge blocked their plans to merge.

ON WALL STREET: At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 217.2 points, about 1.2 percent, to 17,711.1. The Standard & Poor’s 500 slipped 19.9 points, about 1 percent, to 2,064.5. The Nasdaq composite index gave up 49.2 points, about 1 percent, to 4,760.7.

OIL PRICES: Oil prices, however, reversed their fall. Benchmark U.S. crude was up $1.41 to $46.07 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In London, Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, gained $1.89 to $47.41 a barrel.

ANALYST’S OPINION: “Things seem a little quiet in Asia-Pacific as markets take a breather from some recent volatility,” analyst Stephen Innes, a senior trader at OANDA Asia Pacific, said in a commentary. “The danger of these calmer waters is always that sudden shock of a tidal wave from the Fed, China or another central bank tinkering with its monetary policies. For now, it looks like markets are heading for a midweek nap.”

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