Wall Street gives up gains after Germany bomb scare

November 17, 2015 7:20 AM EST

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange November 11, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - U.S. stocks forfeited gains on Tuesday after a soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands was called off over fears of a bombing.

All three major U.S. indexes had ventured into positive territory following upbeat earnings reports from Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Home Depot (NYSE: HD). But they quickly relinquished those gains after the friendly match was canceled less than two hours before its start due to indications of a planned attack with explosives at the stadium in Hanover.

That added to apprehension following last week's attacks in Paris that killed 129 people.

“These situations create uncertainty and in uncertain times everyone goes to cash," said Mohannad Aama, Managing Director, Beam Capital Management LLC in New York.

Despite the broad market's reversal, Wal-Mart ended 3.54 percent higher and Home Depot climbed 4.42 percent, pushing the S&P 500 retail index <.SPXRT> up 1 pct.

The healthy quarterly performance of Wal-Mart and Home Depot stood in contrast to results from department stores Macy's (NYSE: M) and Nordstrom (NYSE: JWN) last week that sent some retail stock sharply lower.

"There's a shift in consumer behavior, but the consumer is still spending, said Steve Goldman, principal of Goldman Management in Short Hills, NJ. "They're just spending differently, whether on restaurants or travel."

Home Depot rival Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) rose 1.69 percent and Target (NYSE: TGT) added 0.83 percent. Both report their quarterly results on Wednesday.

Data on Tuesday offered a mixed view of the health of the U.S. economy - consumer prices increased in October after two straight months of declines, while industrial production fell.

The modest rise in inflation could bolster chances of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates next month, but weak industrial output raised concerns about the robustness of fourth-quarter economic growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> ended up 0.04 percent at 17,489.5 and the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 0.13 percent to 2,050.44.

The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 0.03 percent to finish at 4,986.02.

Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors fell, with the utilities sector's <.SPLRCU> 1.85 percent drop leading the decliners.

Shares of dietary supplement makers sank after federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, said they would announce criminal and civil actions related to unlawful advertising and sale of dietary supplements.

GNC Holdings (NYSE: GNC) dropped 6.38 percent, Vitamin Shoppe (NYSE: VSI) fell 4.92 percent and Herbalife (NYSE: HLF) lost 1.48 percent. None of the companies were named in the subsequent Justice Department release.

Underscoring the uneven performance among retailers, Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ: URBN) dropped 3.84 percent and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) lost 9.43 percent after handing in quarterly report cards that disappointed investors.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,934 to 1,126. On the Nasdaq, 1,501 issues fell and 1,290 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 10 new 52-week highs and 16 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 46 new highs and 148 new lows.

About 7.5 billion shares changing hands on U.S. exchanges, compared to the 7.2 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Hay, Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)

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