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Wall Street opens in red pressured by disappointing holiday sales figures

Following a 4-day rally, major equity indexes in the U.S. started the day in the negative territory as disappointing holiday sales figures from major retailers revived concerns over an economic slowdown. As of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.7% on the day while the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 were losing 1.15% and 0.8%, respectively.

In the pre-market trading, retail giant Macy's' shares lost more than 15% after the company reported a small-than-expected increase in sales profit during November and December. Furthermore, the company slashed its profit outlook for fiscal 2018 as well. Pressured by this development, the S&P 500 Consumer Discretionary index is losing more than 1%. Additionally, risk-sensitive Technology and Communication Services indexes are both erasing around 1%.

The only sector that's in the positive territory at the moment is the utilities, which is adding only 0.2%.

Later in the session, investors will be paying close attention to FOMC Chairman Powell's speech and dovish comments from Powell could help indexes pare their early losses.

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