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The Markets Now: Stocks Remain Lower After Consumer Sentiment, Retail Sales Reports


Plus, resource producers take a hit as commodity prices fall.

Stocks have remained lower today after reports showed retail sales decreased in March and consumer sentiment fell. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) decreased 0.24% to 14,829.84. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) dropped 0.57% to 1,584.31, and the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) fell 0.50% to 3,283.64.

The Institute for Social Research, or ISR, of the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported today that their consumer sentiment index decreased 78.6 in March to 72.3 in April. The reading missed all 69 estimates of a Bloomberg survey, which predicted that the index would remain near March's reading.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the Producer Price Index for finished goods decreased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.6% month-over-month in March. Prices received by manufacturers of intermediate goods fell 0.9% in March. The crude goods index declined by 2.5%. On an unadjusted basis, prices for finished goods increased 1.1% over the previous 12 months ending in March, the smallest gain since July. Read the full report here.

The US Census Bureau and US Department of Commerce reported today that monthly retail and food services sales in March decreased 0.4% from February to a seasonally adjusted amount of $418.3 billion. Year-over-year, sales have increased 2.8%. For the first quarter of 2013, sales grew 3.7% year-over-year. Read the full report here.

The US Census Bureau and US Department of Commerce also reported today that manufacturers' and trade inventories increased 0.1% in February to a seasonally adjusted amount of $1,642.1 billion. Year-over-year inventories have increased 4.9%. Read the full report here.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak to a community development conference in Washington at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) fell 1.70% to $36.87, ending its two-day climb. Wells Fargo reported a first-quarter profit of $5.17 billion, or $0.92 per share, on revenue of $21.26 billion versus a profit of $4.25 billion, or $0.75 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $0.88 on revenue of $21.59 billion.

Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) plunged 4.86% to $36.77. Newmont has followed the price of gold down today.

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) decreased 1.59% to $2.48.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) dropped 3.17% to $21.57.

Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) declined for a second day by 1.62% to $21.33.

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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The author has a position in Cisco.
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