Shares of retailers and other consumer-services companies were flat amid mixed economic data. The number of Americans filing applications for new unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in 44 years, reflecting, in part, the hurricane damage in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that have disrupted the application process. On Wednesday, a report from the housing market showed a sharp decline in housing starts and building permits. Target said it would expand plans to remodel its existing supercenters, overhauling 1,000 out of 1,800 stores. It also plans to open smaller stores in cities as the retailer seeks to win back shoppers in the competitive retail environment.
-Rob Curran, firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 19, 2017 16:41 ET (20:41 GMT)