Wall St falls on inflation data

Shares close lower as tepid United States inflation data overshadows Europe's long-awaited exit from recession.

United States stocks closed lower as investors digested improving economic conditions in Europe and a US inflation report that pointed to tepid growth.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 113.51 points, or 0.73%, at 15,337.50 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 8.80 points, or 0.52%, to 1,685.36 points.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gave up 15.17 points, or 0.41%, at 3,669.27 points.

Eurozone data showed that the economy of the 17-country bloc grew 0.3% in the three months to June, exiting an 18-month recession.

The data also showed that the German economy grew 0.7%, while France's expanded at 0.5%, well ahead of forecasts for just 0.2%.

But US producer price data showed flat prices in July, confirming that inflation remains a minor worry.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said the "halting" aspect of the PPI report is that "the lack of inflation pressure isn't really indicative of an economy that is gaining momentum."

Meanwhile, Art Hogan, head of product strategy at Lazard Capital Markets, said flat producer prices in July and Macy's disappointing performance suggested a picture of weaker US economic growth.

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