Investing.com - U.S. stocks opened lower on Wednesday, despite positive U.S. economic data, added to speculation over an earlier-than-expected end to the Federal Reserve's easing program.
During early U.S. trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.18%, the S&P 500 index slipped 0.13%, while the Nasdaq Composite index declined 0.27%.
The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 1.1% in February, beating expectations for a 0.5% increase.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, rose more-than-expected, climbing 1.0% compared to expectations for a 0.2% gain.
Aircraft maker Boeing slid 0.37% after the company won approval from U.S. transport regulators on Tuesday to start testing a redesigned battery for the 787 Dreamliner, bringing it one step closer to getting the troubled airplane back into regular service.
Separately, Bloomberg reported that Boeing won an order from Ryanair Holdings worth USD15.1 billion, selling 170 737-model planes that are due be phased out in favor of the re-engined Max version.
Pharmaceutical companies were also in focus, after Spectrum Pharmaceuticals said 2013 revenue will be far lower than expected, sending shares diving 37.09%.
Among earnings, Express dove 8.59% after the apparel retailer provided a full-year outlook that widely missed forecasts.
On the upside, Oracle shares added 0.14% after Canaccord Genuity Corp. upgraded the company to "buy" from "hold".
In addition, Samsung Electronics was said to be unveiling the new Galaxy S4 a few blocks from Apple's flagship store in New York and broadcasting the event live in Times Square. The iPhone maker's shares rose 0.24% despite the news.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The EURO STOXX 50 dropped 0.44%, France's CAC 40 slipped 0.29%, Germany's DAX edged 0.10% lower, while Britain's FTSE 100 declined 0.73%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.46%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index declined 0.61%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release official data on import prices, business inventories and crude oil stockpiles.
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