Wall St slips as Tesla weighs, investors await economic data

By Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes slipped on Monday on a drag from shares of Tesla, while investors also awaited earning reports from U.S. retail giants and economic data later in the week to gauge the strength of consumer spending.

Tesla fell 3.2% in early trade and was among the top drags on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, after the electric automaker said it has cut prices in China for some Model Y versions.

The move made the consumer discretionary sector the biggest loser among major S&P 500 sub-indexes, down 0.6%.

Further weighing on sentiment were concerns about China’s highly leveraged property sector after the country’s top private property developer, Country Garden sought to delay payment on a private onshore bond for the first time, a source said, after suspending trading in 11 onshore bonds.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies also fell, with Alibaba, Baidu Inc and Nio Inc down between 2% and 6%.

Market focus this week will be on quarterly earnings from major U.S. retailers including Walmart and Target . Economic data expected includes retail sales for July as well as industrial production and jobless claims numbers to gauge the direction for U.S. interest rates.

Hotter-than-expected U.S. producer prices data last week fanned concerns that the Federal Reserve could keep interest rates higher for longer, driving up U.S. Treasury yields and weighing on rate-sensitive big technology and growth stocks.

Yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note approached nine-month highs on Monday, last up at 4.21%.

“We’ve been having some intraday swings and so it’s very possible that we’re going to have another. Investors are basically staying on the sidelines until we get the economic news of the week,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

Traders see a nearly 89% chance that the Fed will keep its interest rates unchanged next month, betting the central bank will hold them at that level for the rest of the year, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

At 9:49 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 108.71 points, or 0.31%, at 35,172.69, the S&P 500 was down 10.02 points, or 0.22%, at 4,454.03, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 30.15 points, or 0.22%, at 13,614.70.

PayPal Holdings added 1.4% after the company named Alex Chriss, a top executive at tax-preparation software firm Intuit, as its new chief executive officer.

AMC Entertainment common shares fell 39.2% after a Delaware judge approved the theater chain’s revised stockholder settlement on Friday. The company’s preferred stock surged 6.2%.

Nikola dropped 10.0% after the company said on Friday it was recalling all the battery-powered electric trucks delivered till date and is suspending sales after a probe into recent fires.

U.S. Steel jumped 23.9% after the steelmaker rejected a buyout offer from Cleveland-Cliffs and said it would review its options.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 3.65-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.88-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 27 new highs and 93 new lows.

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Maju Samuel)