US stocks dip

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WallStreet1234 Reuters. A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

New York - US stocks Wednesday moved lower in early trade following mixed earnings and as Valeant Pharmaceuticals International significantly raised its bid to acquire Allergan.

About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33.30 points (0.20 percent) to 16,642.20.

The broad-based S&P 500 slipped 1.29 (0.07 percent) to 1,910.62, after closing at records the last two trading sessions.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index lost 10.08 (0.24 percent) at 4,226.99.

Apparel retailer Michael Kors Holdings reported a jump in fiscal fourth-quarter profits of nearly 60 percent compared with last year, while shoe-store chain DSW reported first-quarter earnings of 42 cents per share, six cents below expectations.

Michael Kors fell 0.5 percent, while DSW sank 25.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Canadian firm Valeant increased its unsolicited bid for Allergan, the US maker of Botox, by $10 a share to $58.30 a share.

Valeant chief executive J. Michael Pearson called for meetings with Allergan's leadership, saying prior Allergan statements about Valeant reflect “a fundamental misunderstanding” of Valeant's strategy.

Valeant shares lost 2.9 percent, while Allergan declined 3.4 percent.

Homebuilder Toll Brothers advanced 3.3 percent as earnings of 35 cents per share bested expectations by nine cents.

Toll chief executive Douglas Yearley said the housing market is in a “levelling” period before it accelerates again.

Dow member McDonald's shed 1.42 percent despite announcing it would return $18-20 billion to shareholders in dividends and share repurchases between 2014 and 2016, raising the amount of its previous plan.

Online retailer Amazon said it is “not optimistic” about quickly resolving a dispute with French book publisher Hachette.

The two companies are embroiled in a fight over pricing, discounting and other terms for selling works.

Amazon shares fell 0.7 percent.

Bond prices rose.

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 2.47 percent from 2.52 percent Tuesday, while the 30-year declined to 3.32 percent from 3.37 percent.

Bond prices and yields move inversely. - Sapa-AFP



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