US markets fall on interest rate jitters but Walmart soars

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

(Close): Jitters over the prospect of a June interest rate rise undermined sentiment on US stock markets.

US share indexes closed lower but Walmart jumped 10% after the retail giant's first quarter results beat expectations.

The Dow Jones fell 91.42 points to 17,435.2, the wider S&P 500 index lost 7.61 points to 2,040.02 to its lowest level since March.

The tech-based Nasdaq index fell 26.59 points to 4,712.53.

Walmart shares rose despite the company reporting a fall in first quarter profit to $3.08bn, from $3.34bn a year earlier.

The fall was due to the cost of increasing its minimum wage to $10 an hour and investment in new warehouses.

But investors welcomed news that sales at Walmart's US stores open for at least a year were up 1%, almost double the pace forecast by analysts.

Elsewhere on the market, shares in agricultural giant Monsanto rose 3.6% on news that German drug and chemicals-maker Bayer had made a takeover approach.