U.S. stocks fell after two days of gains, while emerging-market equities dropped from a six-month high amid political concerns in Thailand and Indonesia. Nickel led industrial metals lower.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropped 0.1 percent at 9:34 a.m. in New York. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index lost 0.3 percent after closing yesterday at the highest since October. The SET Index in Bangkok declined 1.1 percent after Thailand declared martial law, while shares in Jakarta dropped the most in five weeks. Nickel fell 2.7 percent after yesterday rising the most in 20 months. Wheat jumped 1 percent on worsening crop conditions.
Retail shares in the U.S. retreated as companies from Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. to Staples Inc. issued forecasts that fell short of analyst estimates. Thailand’s Army Chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha said the imposition of martial law is not a coup and is aimed at keeping order. In Indonesia, opponents of the presidential frontrunner formed a coalition with the nation’s second-biggest party.
“We need some positive triggers to move the market higher,” said Espen Furnes, who helps oversee about $85 billion at Storebrand Asset Management in Oslo. “Macro data are still sending clear signals towards a further improvement in the economy. The only issue is that the pricing of U.S. equities is getting less attractive. That could make the market more vulnerable to a possible correction at some point.”