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Kraft Heinz, Unilever surge as US stocks retreat

Wall Street stocks fell early Friday despite news of Kraft Heinz's rejected takeover bid for Dutch-British giant Unilever that boosted shares of both companies.

The market's downward move marked the second sluggish day after a five-day streak of records sparked by hopes for a major tax cut prompted by President Donald Trump's comments last week.

Analysts said the market is becoming more skeptical of the tax plan although the ebbing also is due to profit taking after the surge.

Nearly 90 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 20,558.75, down 0.3 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 lost 0.2 percent at 2,342.45, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was down less than 0.1 percent 5,814.47.

Kraft Heinz and Unilever were both up around nine percent after Unilever rejected a $143 billion bid from the US firm that it said "fundamentally undervalues" the company.

Despite the rebuff, Kraft said, "we look forward to working to reach agreement on the terms of a transaction," adding, however, there was "no certainty" there would be a further proposal.

Another leading food company, General Mills, fell 2.8 percent after lowering its sales and profit forecast due to the sales performance of US yogurt and soup.

Boeing gained 0.7 percent ahead of a visit by Trump to a South Carolina plant to commemorate the unveiling of its latest 787 plane.