Wall Street falls almost 1% on earnings

US stocks move sharply lower as retail earnings paint mixed picture of US economy.

US stocks have closed almost 1% lower on the back of mixed earnings from retailers.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 137.55 points, or 0.83 per cent, to a five-week low of 16,374.31.

The broad-based S&P 500 gave up 12.25 points, or 0.65%, to 1,872.83, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 28.92 points, or 0.70%, to 4,096.89.

Bucking the trend was Dow component Home Depot, which rose about 2% after raising its full-year earnings forecast.

Dampening optimism, however, was office supplies retailer Staples, which fell well short of analyst earnings forecasts, with its shares sinking 12% as a result.

With little in the way of economic data on tap this week, investors will largely be focussing on tomorrow's release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said the lack of data and continued uncertainty surrounding the strength of the global economy was leading to a "lack of interest" from investors.

"Every sector in the S&P 500 is trading lower at the moment, including the defensive-oriented sectors, which point to an overall lack of buying interest in the stockmarket," he said.

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