Most U.S. stocks fell for the first time in four days as slower sales at Target Corp. and a bigger- than-expected drop in home prices overshadowed a rally in energy companies.
Circuit City Stores Inc., Big Lots Inc. and Dillard’s Inc. led declines in 28 of 31 members of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Retailing Index. CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the world’s largest commercial real estate broker, posted its steepest retreat in two weeks. Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. bank, fell the most in the Dow Jones Industrial Average after billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he rebuffed financial firms that approached him about buying stakes.
About six stocks fell for every five that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. The S&P 500 added 0.1 percent to 1,497.65 and the Dow average climbed 2.36 to 13,551.69, lifted by Exxon Mobil Corp. after crude oil surpassed $96 a barrel for the first time this month. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 0.4 percent to 2,724.41, helped by Amazon.com Inc.’s gain. [MORE]