Wall Street drops on concerns over U.S.-China trade woes, rising inflation

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermi

Reuters) – U.S. stocks slipped on Tuesday after the latest retail sales data indicated rising inflation and pushed up Treasury yields, while trade worries lingered with no signs of progress in U.S.-China talks. The United States and China are still “very far apart” on resolving trade frictions, U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad said, as a second round of high-level talks were set to begin in Washington. Adding to the trade woes, Mexico’s economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo said he does not expect to meet a deadline this Thursday to reach a new North American Free Trade Agreement that could be presented to the U.S. Congress. U.S. retail sales increased a moderate 0.3 percent in April, compared with an upwardly revised 0.8 percent surge in March, as rising gasoline prices weighed on discretionary spending, the Commerce Department said.However, the rise in core retail sales, which excluded automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services, showed consumer spending appeared on track to accelerate after slowing sharply in the first quarter.  Following the data, benchmark U.S. Treasury yield hit 3.037 percent, a key breakout level, before gaining further to 3.058 percent, its highest since July 2011. “When yields pop like they did this morning, that was unsettling and that came on top of the big run that markets just had,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist for Robert W. Baird & Co in Sarasota, Florida. “Even from an overbought situation, the markets were a touch vulnerable and perhaps these rate rises was enough to trigger that.” losses were broad based with ten of the 11 major S&P sectors in the red. The S&P financial .SPSY was the only sector posting a slight gain of 0.1 percent. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.02-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.18-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq..