Stocks drifted to a mixed finish on Wall Street as losses for banks and consumer products makers outweighed gains elsewhere in the market and more in Thursday’s Stock Market Update.
A small loss for the S&P 500 Thursday broke a four-day winning streak for the benchmark index.
The market started lower after the government reported a surprise drop in retail sales in December, then clawed back much of those losses and drifted the rest of the day.
Coca-Cola dropped 8.4 percent after saying the strong dollar could slow its sales.
Cisco rose 1.9 percent after announcing a big stock buyback.
DAILY STOCK MARKET UPDATE
KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,745. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 103 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,439. The Nasdaq edged up 6 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,426.
More stocks rose than fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Major European indexes finished mostly lower.
Bond prices rose sharply following the weak report on U.S. retail sales. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.66 percent from 2.70 percent late Wednesday. That yield is used to set rates on mortgages and other kinds of loans.
THE QUOTE: While the disappointing retail sales data initially put investors in a selling mood, the sell-off ended up losing steam as traders had some time to reconsider how insightful the data may be about future trends.
“This was a really big shock because it was a 9-year low, in terms of its move, but the market doesn’t care what happened two months ago,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading & derivatives at Charles Schwab. “The market really wants to know what’s going on today, and really more importantly what to look for the next month.”
RETAIL RUT: Investors got a double-dose of retail data to consider Thursday. The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, said Thursday that holiday sales increased a lower-than-expected 2.9 percent as worries about the trade war with China, the government shutdown and stock market turmoil dampened shopper spending in December.
And the Commerce Department said retail sales fell 1.2 percent in December from the previous month. Total retail sales for 2018 rose 5 percent from the previous year.
Retailers had foreshadowed the results in the new reports earlier this month when they disclosed weak holiday season sales.
J.C. Penney fell 0.4 percent and Amazon shed 1 percent.
FLAT SODA: Coca-Cola slumped 8 percent after the company gave investors a weak outlook as it grapples with rising costs. The beverage giant raised prices in 2018 to counter increasing import and transportation costs.
Coca-Cola said currency fluctuations shaved 10 percent off its fourth quarter profit and it expects a stronger dollar hurt growth in 2019.
LESS TIME: Fossil Group dropped 4.8 percent after reporting a global sales decline. Comparable sales, a key measure for retailers, fell in every region and for every product category. The watchmaker cited economic weakness in several regions, along with reduced discounting and price-matching as key reasons for the weak quarter.
DISASTER IMPACT: A surge in losses from wildfires and hurricanes helped push American International Group to a fourth-quarter loss. The insurer also reported lower investment income in the quarter. The stock lost 8.4 percent.
LESS ACTION: Casino operators broadly fell on concerns that the growth of online gambling could be stunted by a recent U.S. Department of Justice opinion. MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, on a call with investors, decried the DOJ’s opinion for a broader restriction on interstate gambling. The industry is looking to online gambling and sports betting as key drivers of growth.
MGM fell 6.7 percent, Wynn Resorts dropped 2.6 percent and Las Vegas Sands slid 1.3 percent.
SOLID QUARTER: Cisco Systems gained 2.5 percent after the maker of networking equipment announced a big stock buyback and reported solid demand in its latest quarter.
OIL: U.S. benchmark crude rose 0.9 percent to settle at $54.41 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, gained 1.5 percent to close at $64.57 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar weakened to 110.51 yen from 110.99 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1299 from $1.1271.
METALS: Gold slipped 0.1 percent to $1,313.90 an ounce. Silver dropped 0.8 percent to $15.53 an ounce. Copper was little changed at $2.77 a pound.
© The Associated Press. All rights reserved.