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Retailers lead US stocks to a second day of modest losses

A statue of George Washington stands near The New

A statue of George Washington stands near The New York Stock Exchange, in background, on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

Retailers led a modest slide in stocks Tuesday as the market eased back for the second day in a row, pulling it further below record highs set late last week.

Macy’s sank more than 8 percent after warning that its profit margins could be weaker than the company had forecast earlier. Several other retailers, including Conn’s and Casey’s General Stores, also slumped after issuing disappointing quarterly results or outlooks.

Banks and other financial companies also posted losses as the yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.14 percent, the lowest level since November. Lower bond yields mean lower interest rates on loans, which hurt banks’ profits.

Energy stocks notched the biggest gain as crude oil prices rebounded.

“This is a market that’s taking a breather and is prepared to move, the question is in which direction?” said Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial. “Perhaps the move is going to be, in the short term, a pullback.”

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 6.77 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,429.33. The Dow Jones industrial average slid 47.81 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,136.23. The Nasdaq composite index lost 20.63 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,275.06.

Despite the two-day market slide, the major indexes remain near their most recent record highs set Friday.

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