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U.S. Stocks Edge Lower in Early Trading

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 9:47 AM
U.S. stocks edged lower in early trading on Tuesday as Wall Street investors pause and weigh record high valuations. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index slipped 0.07%; the NASDAQ Composite Index fell 0.32% while the S7P 500 Index dropped 0.14%. Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) gained in early trading hours on Tuesday after the warehouse club chain posted better than expected revenue growth in the fiscal second quarter, late last evening. Same-store sales, excluding impact of inflation in gasoline prices and currency fluctuation, increased 5% as U.S. consumers preferred buying cheaper products in bulk due to shaky macroeconomic environment. Shares of Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) rose sharply in early trading after the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell said that same-store-sales in China fell less-than-feared. Elsewhere in Europe, mainly all leading benchmark indexes held mild gains as the market sentiment improved significantly after both Spain and Italy successfully auctioned their sovereign bonds, albeit Italy’s borrowing cost soared. The spread between Italy’s and Spain’s borrowing cost has shrunk to 8 basis points. In Germany, the Economy Ministry said the economy was on the course to rebound, amid significantly improved confidence in the euro zone and signs of recovery in the global economy. However, manufacturing output in the U.K. fell 1.5% in January against economists’ expectation of 0.1% increase. In Japan, the consumer sentiment index for February jumped to highest level in last five and a half years; nevertheless, it failed to inspire investors as nearly all leading benchmark indexes ended lower on Tuesday. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.28% while China’s benchmark index, the SSE plunged 1.04%. In some other markets, crude oil futures gained 0.75% to $92.75 a barrel while U.S. gold futures for April delivery climbed 1.01% to $1,594.0 an ounce.

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