Stocks Opened Lower after Economic Data

U.S. stocks opened mostly lower on Thursday as investors took in encouraging retail-sales data,
but also a jobless-claims report that was worse than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
lately fell 72.14 points, or 0.46%, to 15,771.39. The S&P 500 was down 3.46 point, or 0.19%, to
1,778.76. The Nasdaq Composite was off 0.81 points, or 0.02%, to 4,003.01.

Sales at U.S. retailers picked up in November, led by autos, according to government data released
Thursday. Retail sales climbed a seasonally adjusted 0.7% last month, the most since June,
matching economists’ expectations, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported.

House Republican leaders threw their weight behind a two-year budget deal, planning to bring it to
a vote Thursday as opposition in both parties failed to gain enough traction to threaten passage.

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped last week from an almost three-month low.
Jobless claims surged by 68,000 to a two-month high of 368,000 in the period ended Dec. 7,
exceeding the highest forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists, Labor Department data showed
today in Washington.

The prices paid for imported goods fell 0.6% in November, with a large drop for fuel, the U.S.
Department of Labor reported Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected import prices
to fall 0.8%.

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