July 16, 2019 / 1:33 AM / 5 months ago

U.S. retail sales data dents stocks, lifts Treasury yields

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A gauge of global equities lost ground on Tuesday and U.S. Treasury yields moved higher as a stronger-than-anticipated report on retail sales raised the possibility the Federal Reserve could adopt a less dovish stance.

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

U.S. retail sales rose 0.4% in June, as households stepped up purchases of motor vehicles and a variety of other goods. The solid number comes on the heels of recent data showing a strong labor market and a pickup in consumer prices.

While the Fed is still largely expected to cut rates by a quarter of a percentage point at its July 30-31 policy meeting, expectations for a more aggressive half a percentage point cut have been scaled back.

“The market is addicted to easy money, it is a sugar high, it is a very quick high,” said Ben Phillips, chief investment officer at Eventshares in Newport Beach, California.

“So when someone is going to take away your supply, you’re going to get angry, go into withdrawal.”

Other data showed manufacturing output in the United States picked up steam in June, while import prices declined the most in six months.

The data boosted U.S. Treasury yields, while the improving economic picture has seen the U.S. yield curve steepen in the past week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23.53 points, or 0.09%, to 27,335.63, the S&P 500 lost 10.25 points, or 0.34%, to 3,004.05 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 35.39 points, or 0.43%, to 8,222.80.

With earnings season underway, banking shares were in focus after a mixed bag of results from JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo. The S&P banks sector was off 0.5%.

Stocks also moved lower following comments from U.S. President Donald Trump that the U.S. still has “a long way to go” to conclude a trade deal with China, and could impose tariffs on an additional $325 billion in Chinese goods.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 7/32 in price to yield 2.1148%, compared with 2.092% late on Monday.

European equities rose as disappointing data out of Germany and new concerns over Brexit helped boost expectations for stimulus from the European Central Bank, along with strong gains from shares of British fashion brand Burberry.

Germany’s ZEW indicator showed that the mood among investors in Europe’s largest economy deteriorated more than expected in July, with the survey pointing to the unresolved China-U.S. trade dispute and to political tensions with Iran.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.35% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.27%. The decline snapped a four-day winning streak for MSCI’s index.

The dollar strengthened versus the euro as a result of the disparate data while a debate between the two candidates to become Britain’s next prime minister sent the pound tumbling because of heightened worries about a no-deal Brexit.

The dollar index rose 0.45%, with the euro down 0.42% to $1.121. Sterling was last trading at $1.2407, down 0.87% on the day.

FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Staff/File Photo

(GRAPHIC - Global assets in 2019: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl)

(GRAPHIC - Global currencies vs. dollar: tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh)

(GRAPHIC - MSCI All Country World Index Market Cap: tmsnrt.rs/2EmTD6j)

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Additional reporting by Karen Bretell; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, Diane Craft and Susan Thomas

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