- Title: USA: Wall Street ends lower as investors take profits
- Date: 21st August 2012
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 21, 2012) (REUTERS) NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE (NYSE) CLOSING BELL
- Embargoed: 5th September 2012 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Economy
- Reuters ID: LVA1PYVURFP2IZOI0BW4NY0859GF
- Story Text: Stocks fell on Tuesday (August 21) after the S&P 500 hit its highest level in four years as the benchmark index faced technical resistance and traders cashed in recent gains.
The S&P 500 index hit 1,426.68, its highest intraday rise since May 2008. Volume has been light, as expected in August, and only three of the past 12 sessions have seen moves of 0.25 percent or more by the S&P.
Stocks rose early in the session and the euro rallied to a seven-week high against the U.S. dollar, bolstered by talk that the European Central Bank will act to lower Spanish and Italian borrowing costs. Bets on action from central banks in support of their stalling economies have helped move stocks higher.
However, U.S. stocks lost momentum after the first hour as traders took profits.
The slow but steady climb over the past six weeks was partly due to better-than-expected data, including payrolls, retail sales and housing numbers that countered a previous string of disappointments.
The Federal Reserve and ECB hold separate policy meetings next month that could decide whether further stimulus to the U.S. recovery and measures to control the euro zone debt crisis are coming.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 68.06 points, or 0.51 percent, to 13,203.58. The S&P 500 Index dropped 4.96 points, or 0.35 percent, to 1,413.17. The Nasdaq Composite lost 8.95 points, or 0.29 percent, to 3,067.26.
The CBOE Volatility Index or VIX, Wall Street's fear barometer, was up 7.4 percent at 15.05 after hitting a five-year low of 13.30 last week.
Technology stocks were among the day's underperformers.
Facebook Inc director Peter Thiel sold roughly $400 million (USD) worth of shares in the online social networking company last week, cashing out most of his stake. The sale comes as Facebook's stock lost 50 percent of its value since its IPO earlier this year. In Tuesday's session, Facebook shares fell 4.3 percent to $19.16.
Best Buy Co shares slightly pared losses after falling to $16.25 to nine-year low. The company suspended its profit outlook and share buybacks for the year. Shares closed down 1.4 percent at $17.91.
Shares of clothing retailer Urban Outfitters rose 18.2 percent to $36.98 after several brokerages raised their price targets on the stock.
After the closing bell, shares of Dell Inc fell 3.7 percent to $11.88 after the No. 2 U.S. PC maker narrowly missed revenue estimates."
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