2:40 PM New York Ė Stocks on Wall Street struggled for the second day in a row and construction spending fell at 0.1% annual rate in February. Crude oil inched back up to $50 a barrel and gold traded above $1,200 an ounce.
Stocks extended downward draft for the second day in a row and market indexes declined on the first day of trading of the second quarter.
Construction spending in February fell 0.1% at annual rate of $967.2 billion from the revised January estimate of $967.9 billion and rose 2.1% from a year ago spending of $947.1 billion, the Department of Commerce said.
Crude oil inventories at the end of last week climbed 4.8 million barrels to 471.4 million barrels. Motor gasoline inventories declined by 4.3 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration announced.
On Wall Street trading, Tollbooth Strategy Index slipped 0.5% or 54.15 to 10,393.24 and gained 3.9% in the first quarter, ahead of 0.4% gain in the S&P 500 index in the period.
S&P 500 index decreased 8.98 or 0.4% to 2,058.90 and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 32.93 or 0.7% to 4,867.60.
Crude oil in New York trading climbed $2.34 to $49.94 a barrel and gold surged $24.70 to $1,207.80 an ounce.
Ford Motor Company
) slipped 1.6% or 26 cents to $15.88 after the automobile company said total sales in March declined 3.4% to 235,929 vehicles from 244,167 vehicles in a year ago month. Truck sales increased 3.8%.
The company's retail sales in March increased 1% while fleet sales tumbled to 13%, best U.S. March month retail sales in nine years. Lincoln sales decreased 3.1% to 8,695 units from a year ago month.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV
) fell 9 cents to $16.22 after the automobile manufacturer said U.S. vehicle sales in March increased 2% to 197,261 units, the groupís best March sales since 2007.
Total car sales in the month jumped 12% to 52,644 units and total truck sales slipped 2% to 144,617 units.
General Motors Company
) dropped 1.8% or 67 cents to $36.83 after the largest automaker said sales in March declined 2% to 249,875 vehicles.
GM added total sales of trucks, including pickups, vans and SUVs climbed 14%. Crossover deliveries jumped 6% while passenger car deliveries in the month tumbled 21%.
) declined 5.1% or $4.29 to $80 after the real estate developer unanimously rejected Simon Property Groupís revised unsolicited proposal of $95.50 per share valuing the company at $16.8 billion.
In London trading, FTSE 100 index jumped 0.6% or 41.27 to 6,814.31 and in Frankfurt the DAX index gained 0.4% or 43.24 to 12,009.41.
In Paris, CAC 40 index increased 0.4% or 21.99 to 5,055.63.
climbed 4.9% to 3,808 pence after the U.K.-based online fashion retailer reported group revenues in the first-half ending in February soared 14% to £550.5 million from £481.7 million in a year ago period.
Profit in the period declined 6% from a year ago to £14.3 million compared to £15.3 million and diluted earnings per share slipped to 17.6 pence from 18.5 pence.
The online retailer forecasted sales for the year of £2.5 billion and operating profit to be in-line with market expectations and the company said it will continue to invest in warehousing and information technology.
jumped 5.9% to 198.70 pence after the U.K.-based steel producer said revenues in the year ending in December plunged 9% to $13.06 billion from $14.41 billion in a year ago period.
Net loss in the year widened from a year ago to $1.28 billion compared to $551 million and diluted loss per share increased to 78 cents from 34 cents.
Stocks in Tokyo closed down tracking international market weakness. Jastec Co, the software developer, said first-quarter sales jumped 6.6% and net income soared 9.6%. Japan Post forecasted fiscal year revenues to increased 3.9% and net is expected to swing to profit.