Consumer and telecom stocks dragged down the big U.S. indexes a day ahead of speeches from central bank governors at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Fred Katayama reports.
Stocks slipped Thursday ahead of a gathering of central bankers. Consumer and telecom stocks dragged down the indexes. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and ECB President Mario Draghi are set to speak on Friday at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Wall Street will be watching closely. Oliver Pursche of Bruderman Brothers: SOUNDBITE: OLIVER PURSCHE, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, BRUDERMAN BROTHERS, (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Investors aren't expecting anything monumental out of Jackson Hole. The one thing that market participants will be listening for is any hints about policy and the deleveraging of the balance sheet from Janet Yellen." Dollar Tree giving the biggest boost to the Dow and S&P 500. Quarterly profit fell and comparable sales missed estimates. But investors focused on the robust performance of core Dollar Tree stores, where existing store sales increased. Wal-Mart and other grocers' shares fell after Amazon.com said Whole Foods will offer lower prices on selected staples starting Monday when it expects to complete its acquisition of the upscale supermarket chain. In economics news, the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits rose less than expected last week. That suggests a further tightening of the labor market. Sales of existing homes unexpectedly fell last month to their lowest level of the year due to a shortage of properties for sale. In Europe, consumer cyclicals and utilities led markets higher. But the French CAC finished just below break-even.