Biz Brief: May Retail Sales Disappoint, Market Slumps

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Today's disappointing retail sales for May are the latest blow to the economy, which is looking like a boxer wobbly from taking one too many punches to the head. U.S. retail sales fell 1.2% from the previous month to $362.5 billion in May. Economists, optimistic about an economic recovery, were predicting an increase. The weakness was across the board, with retail trade sales falling 1.4% from April 2010, but rising 7.4% above last year. Gasoline stations, nonstore retailers, hardware and department stores also dropped.

Sales excluding autos fell 1.1%, raising fears about a possible double-dip recession, given the dominance of consumer spending in economic activity. It was the first retail sales drop in eight months. Investors aren't happy: The major stock market indexes are indicated lower.
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S&P 500 2,367.10 -2.65 -0.11%
DJIA 20,833.93 -3.51 -0.02%
NASDAQ 5,843.35 -18.55 -0.32%
DAX 11,848.99 26.32 0.22%
NIKKEI 225 19,118.99 11.52 0.06%
HANG SENG 23,740.73 -184.32 -0.77%
USD (per EUR) 1.06 0.00 0.37%
USD (per CHF) 1.00 -0.01 -0.77%
JPY (per USD) 111.97 -0.77 -0.69%
GBP (per USD) 1.24 0.00 0.00%

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