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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks opened lower Monday, handing back a fraction of recent gains ahead of key US retail sales and earnings reports.

Analysts cited weak Chinese industrial and retail sales data that prompted the People’s Bank of China to cut interest rates. The disappointing data was compounded by a gloomy reading from the New York Federal Reserve Bank on regional manufacturing activity.

Market watchers said stocks were positioned for a pullback following the market’s buoyant performance in July and the first part of August.

Wall St Week Ahead-Soft landing hopes for US economy brighten outlook on stocks

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.2 percent at 33,701.22.

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.3 percent to 4,266.78, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.2 percent to 13,016.21.

This week’s schedule will offer a window into the state of the US consumer, with government data on retail sales for July coming Wednesday, and earnings reports from Walmart, Home Depot and other giant chains.

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