Stocks showed a notable decline at the start of trading on Tuesday, with the major averages all moving firmly into negative territory after ending the previous session mixed. The initial weakness was partly due to a negative reaction to weak retail sales data.
Before the open, the Commerce Department said that retail sales fell 1.1 percent in March following a revised 0.3 percent increase in February. Economists had expected sales to increase by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.1 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month.
Early weakness has emerged in a variety of sectors, with retail stocks turning in some of the worst performances following the disappointing data. Real estate, banking, housing, and health insurance stocks are also posting notable losses.
The major averages have seen some further downside in the past few minutes, pulling back to new lows for the young session. The Dow is currently down 101.63 at 7,956.18, the Nasdaq is down 21.64 at 1,631.67 and the S&P 500 is down 12.44 at 846.29.
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