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US STOCKS-Wall St slips after weak economic data
May 15, 2015 / 5:06 PM / 3 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St slips after weak economic data

* Industrial output falls for 5th straight month

* Consumer sentiment at its lowest since October

* Yum Brands up after J.P. Morgan upgrade

* Netflix hits record-high after report of China entry

* Indexes down: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Tanya Agrawal

May 15 (Reuters) - U.S. shares were slightly lower on Friday as weak economic data pointed to a lack of momentum in the economy, a day after the S&P 500 closed at a record high.

Industrial output slipped 0.3 percent, weighed down by a decline in production by mining companies and utilities. Economists had forecast a rise of 0.1 percent.

U.S. consumer sentiment also fell more than expected in May and was at the lowest level since October.

“I think April is shaping up to be a weak month for consumption but the economy is still growing,” said Ilya Feygin, managing director at WallachBeth Capital in New York.

“There is some concern about the first-quarter weakness spilling into the current quarter.”

The economy had slowed to a crawl in the first quarter, hurt by weak oil prices, harsh weather and port disruptions.

Adding to the negative tone, economists cut their forecasts for U.S. economic growth in the second quarter and full year, and trimmed expectations for U.S. labor market gains.

The reports follow weak retail sales and producer inflation data this week, suggesting the Federal Reserve will probably not raise interest rates anytime soon.

Seven of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the utilities index leading the gainers with a 0.8 percent rise. Financials were the biggest losers with a 0.6 percent decline.

The three major indexes were on track to close up for the week for the first time in three weeks.

At 12:42 a.m. ET (1642 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was down 12.29 points, or 0.07 percent, at 18,239.95, the S&P 500 was down 2.13 points, or 0.1 percent, at 2,118.97 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 9.33 points, or 0.18 percent, at 5,041.46.

Yum Brands rose 4 percent to $93.56 after J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to “overweight” and said the likelihood of the KFC owner spinning off its China business was increasing.

Netflix rose as much as 5 percent to a record-high of $616.59 after Bloomberg reported that it was in talks with a company backed by Alibaba’s Jack Ma to enter China.

Deere fell 4 percent to $88.50 after J.P. Morgan downgraded the farm equipment maker to “underweight” from “neutral”.

Keurig Green Mountain fell as much as 9.4 percent to a 12-month low of $93.33, after Bloomberg reported that the K-cup coffee pod maker would not make available its new cold brewing system in all it is retail outlets until next year.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,543 to 1,398, for a 1.10-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,484 issues fell and 1,187 advanced for a 1.25-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.

The S&P 500 index posted 35 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 72 new highs and 24 new lows. (Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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