Stocks Edged Lower after Retailer Results

U.S. stocks dipped slightly at the open on Wednesday following weak earnings forecasts from retailers Lowe’s and Target.  The Dow Jones industrial average lately fell 6.45 points, or 0.04%, to 16,913.14. The S&P 500 lost 1.76 points, or 0.09%,  to 1,979.84 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 6.64 points, or 0.15%, to 4,520.88.

Lowe’s Companies Inc. (LOW) on Wednesday lowered its outlook for sales growth in fiscal 2014, saying it now expects total  sales to grow by 4.5%, down from 5% estimated previously. The forecast adjustment came as part of the home-improvement retailer’s second-quarter earnings report, where it reported a 10% increase in profit to $1.04 billion from $951 million in the same quarter last year.

Target Corp. (TGT), still struggling to rebound from last year’s hacker attack, cut its forecast for the year as slumping
sales and a money-losing push into Canada take a toll on profit.Target now expects full-year earnings of $3.10 to $3.30 a share, excluding some items, down from a previous forecast of as much as $3.90.

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