US stocks mixed on earnings, weak retail sales

Stocks closed in a tight range Thursday after the U.S. retail sales report for December showed a big decline and quarterly earnings reports were mixed.

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Retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than nine years in December, tumbling 1.2 percent while the Wall Street expectation had been for an increase of 0.2 percent. The report was one of the data points that was delayed by a 35-day partial government shutdown.

Shares of Coca-Cola fell as profit of 43 cents a share was in line with expectations, while revenue fell 6 percent. The beverage giant’s full-year profit forecast is well below Wall Street expectations.

Amazon stock closed lower while home improvement chains Home Depot and Lowe's Companies also slipped.

Shares of Bloomin' Brands rose after the parent of the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain beat fourth-quarter profit and sales expectations, and provided an upbeat full-year outlook.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES26788.1-39.54-0.15%
SP500S&P 5002995.99-10.73-0.36%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8104.295257-58.69-0.72%

Oil prices increased more than 1 percent, lifting shares of energy companies like Marathon Oil.

Meanwhile, Amazon shocked New York City on Thursday by saying that it will not go ahead with a previously announced plan to build a major corporate campus, dubbed "HQ2," in the city after facing strong opposition from local and state lawmakers and some area residents, according to a statement.

The Seattle-based corporation said it is not reopening its search process at this time and will continue as planned in Northern Virginia and Nashville.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
KOCOCA-COLA COMPANY53.85-0.38-0.70%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.1,765.73-19.93-1.12%
MROMARATHON OIL11.73+0.20+1.73%

Investors were also keeping an eye on trade talks between the U.S. and China being held in Beijing. Optimism that a deal can be struck by the Mar. 1 deadline has helped to send the S&P and Nasdaq to four days of gains.

Congress is also taking up the spending bill on border security that will prevent another partial government shutdown. The proposal still does not meet President Trump's request for $5.7 billion to help build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Senate and House of Representatives aimed to pass the legislation by late Thursday. Upon its expected passage, Trump was expected to sign it into law.

Producer prices fell for a second straight month in January, leading to the smallest annual increase in 1-1/2 years. With inflation being held at bay it could keep the Fed on hold concerning interest rates. Prices dipped 0.1 percent, putting PPI for 12 months at 2 percent.

Initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000.


In Asian markets on Thursday, China’s Shanghai Composite closed almost 0.1 percent lower.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.2 percent and Japan’s Nikkei finished the day flat.

In Europe, the major markets finished mostly lower. London’s FTSE gained 0.1 percent, Germany’s DAX declined 0.7 percent and France’s CAC was off 0.2 percent.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.