US stocks fall as retailers slump

Stock prices fell on Wall Street today as traders worried about weak results from retailers and indications that the Federal Reserve may cut back on its economic stimulus.

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The Dow Jones industrial average fell 68 points to close at 15,821.

Stock prices fell on Wall Street today as traders worried about weak results from retailers and indications that the Federal Reserve may cut back on its economic stimulus.

It was the market's fifth straight decline, the longest losing streak since September.

Faster economic growth and a better outlook on hiring made investors anticipate that the US central bank may be getting closer to reducing its huge bond-purchasing programme, which has supported financial markets and kept long-term interest rates very low.

Retailers fell after reporting disappointing earnings and sales figures.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost 68 points, or 0.4%, to close at 15,821.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell seven points, or 0.4%, to 1,785 and the Nasdaq composite fell four points, or 0.1%, to 4,033.

AP