* U.S. Treasuries nearly flat
* Wall Street off as retail earnings disappoint
* Investors warily eye Thailand martial law declaration
(Adds oil prices, updates indices)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, May 20 Global stock indices were lower
on Tuesday after weaker-than-expected earnings, while the dollar
fell for a fifth straight session against the yen.
U.S. stocks were pulled down by retailers, including TJX
Companies, which posted lower-than-expected quarterly
A persistent fall in U.S. Treasury yields, reflecting
uncertainty about global economic growth, has undermined the
dollar recently. But U.S. Treasuries were mostly flat.
"There's a little bit of risk-off sentiment given the
declines in stocks," said Kim Rupert, managing director for
fixed income at Action Economics in San Francisco.
Concerns surrounding Ukraine remained an "undercurrent," she
MSCI's all-world equity index, which tracks
shares in 45 nations, was down 0.4 percent, while European
shares closed down 0.1 percent.
Vodafone shares fell after the company wrote
down the value of some of its European businesses, citing
fierce competition and regulatory changes in Europe.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average fell
117.26 points, or 0.71 percent, at 16,394.60. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index was down 11.23 points, or 0.60 percent,
at 1,873.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 25.99
points, or 0.63 percent, at 4,099.83.
Shares of TJX tumbled 7.1 percent to $54.27 while the S&P
retail index lost 0.8 percent. Within the retail space,
"unless they are solely focused on the East Coast... that is
kind of disturbing," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research
analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh, noting other
parts of the country were not as affected by the winter weather.
Investors will soon turn their focus to minutes from the
last Federal Reserve policy meeting, due on Wednesday, and
whether that will shed light on the likelihood and timing of
At the same time, markets are optimistic over support from
the European Central Bank, one of the few central banks still
keeping monetary policy loose.
The dollar was down 0.3 percent against the yen to 101.26
. The pair traded below the 200-day moving average, a key
technical gauge, for a second straight day.
The Australian dollar was the biggest mover of the
day, falling to a two-week low against the greenback on a slide
in prices for iron ore, the country's biggest export earner.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note prices were
up 6/32 to yield 2.5124 percent, from 2.536 percent late Monday.
Brent crude was up 49 cents at $109.86 a barrel,
supported by instability in Libya, while U.S. crude for July
delivery rose 5 cents at $102.16. Platinum prices edged
higher as South Africa's longest and costliest miners' strike
continued. Spot platinum was up 0.4 percent.
Nervousness also washed in from Asia, where Thailand
declared martial law overnight after months of unrest
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
slipped 0.4 percent.
(Additional reporting by Marc Jones and John Geddie in London
and Sam Forgione and Chuck Mikolajczak in New York; Editing by