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Stock indexes stumble in early trading; Macy’s sinks

U.S. stocks indexes are slipping Wednesday morning. Retailers are slumping after Macy’s reported weak results and cut its outlook.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 17,737 as of 10:17 a.m. Eastern time. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost one point to 2,079. The Nasdaq composite shed five points, or 0.1 percent, to 5,078.

CHINA FACTOR: China’s government says retail sales growth edged up in October, suggesting economic growth has stabilized even though factory output and investment got weaker. E-commerce giant Alibaba said it smashed records during the “Singles Day” holiday. By early afternoon in China, Alibaba said it received 310 million delivery orders, more than it got all day on Nov. 11 of last year.

RETAIL SKIDS: Retailers slumped after Macy’s reported lower-than-expected sales for the third quarter and cut its profit forecast for the year. The operator of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s also said it will close more stores. Macy’s stock plunged $6.32, or 13.5 percent, to $40.71. Kohl’s fell $2.95, or 6.5 percent, to $42.59 and Nordstrom dropped $3.31, or 5.1 percent, to $61.42.

DRINKING TO THE DEAL: The two largest beer makers in the world finalized their deal to combine. The joining of AB InBev and SABMiller brings together brands including Budweiser, Corona, Grolsch and Stella Artois. The combined company would produce about a third of the world’s beer.

As part of the agreement, SABMiller will sell its 58 percent stake in a joint venture in the U.S., Molson Coors, for $12 billion. AB InBev rose $1.13, or 1 percent, to $119.48, and Molson Coors slipped 9 cents to $88.22.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell 79 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $43.45 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 52 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $47.56 a barrel in London.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 added 0.8 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent.

BONDS, CURRENCIES: Bond prices didn’t move much. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note held steady at 2.34 percent. The dollar slipped to 122.98 yen from 123.25 yen. The euro rose to $1.0753 from $1.0707.

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