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Stocks slump on Walmart's gloom

American flags fly at the New York Stock

American flags fly at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street on July 6, 2015. Credit: AP / Mark Lennihan

U.S. stocks were down at the end of trading Wednesday as Walmart fell sharply after the company said that sales would be "relatively flat" this year because of currency fluctuations. JPMorgan Chase led financial stocks lower as its earnings fell short of analysts' expectations.

Industrial stocks fell as a report from the Federal Reserve showed that factory output remained weak, in part because of the strong dollar.

At the close on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average had lost 157.1 points, nearly 1 percent, to 16,924.8. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 9.5 points, about 0.5 percent, at 1,994.2. The Nasdaq composite gave up 13.8 points, about 0.3 percent, to nearly 4,783.

CRUDE ENERGY: As the markets closed, the price of U.S. benchmark crude oil was down 4 cents at $46.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

MAKING MOVES: Walmart's tumble sent equities lower after shares had fluctuated in early trading. Walmart Stores Inc. fell $6.70, about 10 percent to close at $60.03, the most in six years. JPMorgan Chase & Co. fell 10 cents, about 0.4 percent, to close at $27.06, after cautioning that trading this quarter is off to a tepid start. Intel reported a slowdown in demand for desktop computers, but ended the day with a gain of 76 cents, about 2.4 percent, at $32.80.

Bank of America Corp. added 12 cents, about 0.8 percent, to close at $15.64 after its results beat analysts' estimates. Legal costs fell in the quarter, the bank said.

ANALYST'S OPINION: "Walmart's sizable reset of expectations has shaken the overall market with general concern about both U.S. and global growth," said analyst Chad Morganlander, a money manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. in Florham Park, New Jersey, which oversees about $170 billion. "Investors are reconsidering their future forecasted growth rates for S&P earnings. That's putting a lid on today's trade."

This story was compiled with reports from Bloomberg News and The Associated Press.


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