Stocks Opened Mixed after Economic Data

U.S. stocks opened mixed on Thursday after readings on retail sales and jobless claims suggested the U.S. economy is on a healthy footing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately was down 46.33 points, or 0.27%, to 17,356.18. The S&P 500 shed 6.29 points, or 0.30%, to 2,079.76. The Nasdaq Composite fell 10.90 points, or 0.22%, to 5,033.49.

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the trend continued to point to a strengthening labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 for the week ended Aug. 8, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

US retail sales climb 0.6 pct. in July; autos, restaurants and building supplies drive gains. The Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales climbed 0.6 percent last month after a flat reading in June.

The prices the U.S. paid for imported goods fell 0.9% in July, the biggest drop in six months. The price drop was led by a drop in fuel prices. However, excluding fuel, import prices declined by 0.3%, the Labor Department said Thursday.

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