Stocks closed lower Wednesday amid a lackluster session.
All three of the major averages lost ground, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sliding 22 points, or 0.1 percent. The Dow never crossed more than 40 points above or below Tuesday's closing level. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq booked slighly larger losses, closing down 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respecetively.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||35730.48||+239.79||+0.68%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||15448.117688||+212.28||+1.39%|
U.S. retail sales fell 0.3 percent in September, according to data released Wednesday by the Commerce Department. The print made for the first negative retail sales number in seven months. Economists surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 0.3 percent growth for the month.
|GM||GENERAL MOTORS CO.||54.24||-0.02||-0.04%|
GM shares closed higher after the automaker and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative deal likely ending the strike which has been raging for a month. Late Wednesday, FOX Business learned that President Trump's top trade advisor, Peter Navarro, helped bring the two sides together.
Financial stocks also remained in focus Tuesday after Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services Group and Bank of New York Mellon all reported ahead of the opening bell. The sector will remain in focus on Wednesday when Morgan Staley releases its results.
|BAC||BANK OF AMERICA CORP.||47.78||+0.74||+1.57%|
|PNC||THE PNC FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP, INC.||213.02||-0.06||-0.03%|
|BK||THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON CORP.||59.44||+0.99||+1.69%|
Elsewhere, Netflix shares gained as traders positioned themselves for the streaming giant's third-quarter earnings, which were due out after the closing bell. Shares plunged by as much as 30 percent in the wake of the company's second-quarter results. IBM will also report its quarterly results at the market's close.
|IBM||INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP.||125.84||+0.67||+0.54%|
In Europe, the major indexes were little changed.
Asian shares were mostly higher with Japan's Nikkei gaining 1.2 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng adding 0.6 percent. China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.4 percent.
FOX Business' Ken Martin and the Associated Press contributed to this article.