Wall Street slides on mixed data, Best Buy drags

 @ibtimes on June 16 2009 1:40 PM

Stocks accelerated their drop on Tuesday as mixed economic data fed worries that the economic recovery may be anemic, while Best Buy's disappointing results pointed to a still weak consumer.

While a rebound in May housing starts pointed to some stabilization in that sector and a smaller-than-expected rise in producer prices suggested inflation pressures were muted, another report showed industrial production logged a steeper-than-expected slide last month.

The Federal Reserve report also said May's capacity utilization rate for total industry, a measure of slack in the U.S. economy, slumped to its lowest level on records dating back to 1967.

You're starting to get a host of mixed messages on the economy and for the market to move higher, you need decidedly more positive news, said David Chalupnik, head of equities at FAF Advisors in Minneapolis.

We've moved from kind of all negative news to a mixture of better- and worse-than-expected news, and for the market to have a sustained improvement, we need consistently good news on the economic front.

Best Buy Co Inc , the largest U.S. consumer electronics retailer, posted a slide in same-store sales, a key measure of retail performance, and its shares dropped 7.1 percent to $35.93.

The news continued to point to a cutback in discretionary purchases. The S&P retail index <.RLX> tumbled 3.2 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 77.69 points, or 0.90 percent, to 8,534.44, just off a drop of 1 percent to a session low of 8,521,37. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 9.62 points, or 1.04 percent, to 914.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 13.86 points, or 0.76 percent, to 1,802.52.

Big industrial manufacturers' shares took a hit, with blue-chip 3M down 1.7 percent at $58.32.

The broad S&P 500 index is still up 35.1 percent from the 12-year closing low of March 9, though its rally wilted in June.

(Editing by Jan Paschal)

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