Global stocks retreat as rally shows sign of fatigue

Retailers reported mixed results as the industry looks ahead to 'Black Friday' and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season (MARIO TAMA)
Retailers reported mixed results as the industry looks ahead to 'Black Friday' and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season (MARIO TAMA)

Global stock markets gave up some recent gains Tuesday following mixed results from retailers as Wall Street digested Federal Reserve minutes that suggested interest rates could stay high for a while.

Major US indices, which have been on a tear over the last three weeks, spent the entire session in the red.

The minutes, which chronicle discussion surrounding the Fed's November 1 decision to hold interest rates steady, said policy makers backed a "restrictive stance" in monetary policy "for some time until inflation is clearly moving down sustainably."

That statement suggests the Fed is in no hurry to cut interest rate -- something equity markets have been hoping for.

Still, analysts said Tuesday's retreat was largely due to the sense the market was overbought.

"We've seen a sizable move higher over the last month with impressive gains, so it's not too surprising to see a pause to digest those gains," said Angelo Kourkafas of Edward Jones.

"Markets don't move in a straight line."

The Dow and S&P 500 both lost 0.2 percent, while the Nasdaq dropped a bit more at 0.6 percent.

Several prominent retailers disappointed investors with results or downcast forecasts.

These included Lowe's, down 3.1 percent, Kohl's, down 8.6 percent, and American Eagle Outfitters, down 15.8 percent. Chains that rose after results included Dick's Sporting Goods, up 2.2 percent and Burlington Stores, up 20.7 percent.

The results come ahead of the "Black Friday" kickoff of the holiday shopping season. The National Retail Federation has projected overall holiday sales growth of between three and four percent, which would mark a return to the pre-pandemic trend of more modest increases.

In Europe, London and Paris both retreated somewhat while Frankfurt ended flat.

Asian markets started strongly Tuesday but ran out of gas as the day progressed.

Hong Kong dipped even after market heavyweight Alibaba jumped more than two percent to extend its rebound after diving 10 percent Friday on news it had canceled the spinoff of its cloud computing arm.

Argentina's stock market reacted with optimism Tuesday to the resounding election win by libertarian Javier Milei, despite the country being gripped by uncertainty over what changes the self-described "anarcho-capitalist" will bring.

The rise was led by state oil company YPF whose shares rose more than 30 percent after the president-elect announced he would privatize it as part of his package of reforms.

- Key figures around 2200 GMT -

New York - DOW: DOWN 0.2 percent at 35,088.29 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 0.2 percent at 4,538.19 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 0.6 percent at 14,199.98 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,481.99 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,229.45 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: FLAT at 15,900.53 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.2 at 4,331.90 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.1 percent at 33,354.14 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.3 percent at 17,733.89 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 3,067.93 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0913 from $1.0940 on Monday

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2537 from $1.2505

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 148.33 yen from 148.39 yen

Euro/pound: DOWN at 87.02 pence from 88.50 pence

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.2 percent at $82.45 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.1 percent at $77.77 per barrel