U.S. Stocks Close Lower On Weak Retail Stocks

By Sue Chang Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks retreated Thursday as retail stocks slumped on disappointing earnings from Macy's Inc. which weighed on the consumer discretionary sector. Performance of consumer discretionary stocks is often viewed as a reflection of consumers' confidence in the economy as companies in the sector manufacture non-essential goods that are sensitive to economic cycles. The S&P 500 slid 5 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,394 with Macy's plunging 17%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 23 points, or 0.1%, to end at 20,920 while the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 13 points, or 0.2%, to close at 6,115.

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