United States markets were lower on Friday as more retailers reported plunging first-quarter sales. The price of oil slipped after a string of recent gains. A two-day losing streak had stocks close to their third consecutive week of losses.
KEEPING SCORE In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.56 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index was down 0.46 percent. The Nasdaq composite index edged down 0.09 percent.
RETAIL ROUT Shares of the department store chain Nordstrom dropped 12.9 percent after the company released disappointing quarterly results late Thursday. J. C. Penney shares dropped 2.5 percent after the company reported disappointing earnings on Friday. Shares of Dillard’s lost 0.3 percent after the company also posted disappointing profit and sales late Thursday.
Retailers’ stocks have plunged this week after a series of weak reports. Nordstrom is down about 17 percent, while Macy’s has fallen 15 percent and Kohl’s is down about 11 percent.
SILVER LINING The Commerce Department said total retail sales grew 1.3 percent in April, suggesting spending might have rebounded after a weak first quarter. Retail sales slipped in March as car sales decreased.
Retail sales have risen 3 percent over the last year. But the report contained still more bad news for department stores: Online and catalog shopping increased 10 percent from a year ago, and sales at department stores fell almost 2 percent over the same period.
BURGER BOUNTY The hamburger chain Shake Shack’s profit and sales beat estimates, in part because consumers snapped up its new fried chicken sandwich. The chain raised its estimates for sales and said it would open more stores than it previously planned. The stock gained 6.1 percent.
CONSUMER COMPANIES Phone companies and consumer stocks fell the most in morning trading. Those stocks traded higher on Thursday. AT&T stock was declined 0.8 percent, and Verizon shares lost 0.8 percent. Among consumer companies, Walmart shares gave up 2.4 percent and Procter & Gamble stock shed 1 percent.
Tech stocks made small gains after they took losses a day ago.
NVIDIA PROGRESS The graphics chip and processor maker Nvidia surpassed Wall Street forecasts in the first quarter, and its stock jumped 13.3 percent.
EUROPEAN MARKETS In Germany, the DAX rose 0.9 percent, and in France, the CAC 40 gained 0.6 percent. The FTSE 100 was up 0.6 percent in Britain.
ASIA’S DAY The Nikkei 225 declined 1.4 percent in Japan, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 1 percent. The Shanghai composite index slid 0.3 percent in China. The Kospi shed 0.5 percent in South Korea. In Australia, the S.&P./ASX 200 lost 0.6 percent.
ENERGY Benchmark United States crude oil fell after hitting its highest price since early November. Oil futures fell 42 cents, to $46.28 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, lost 20 cents, to $47.88 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES AND BONDS Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dipped to 1.72 percent from 1.76 percent. The euro fell to $1.1299 from $1.1373 and the dollar slid to 109.05 yen from 109.14 yen.
Article by Associated Press.