NEW YORK, New York - Strong economic data failed to boost Wall Street Thursday.
Stocks meandered in and out of positive territory with little movement in either direction.
Retail sales in August rose 0.7 percent against analysts' forecast for a 0.8 percent decline.
"U.S. consumption is not slowing as quickly as it appeared a month ago despite the fading stimulus, and the Delta variant did not much affect the industries feeding into retail sales," Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial in New York told Reuters Thursday. "The economy continued to hum in August."
Despite the unexpected boost in retail sales, traders, and investors appeared reluctant to enter the market. The Dow Jones industrials fell 63.07 points or 0.18 percent to 34,751.32.
The Standard and Poor's 500 slipped 6.95 points or 0.16 percent to 4,473.75.
Tech stocks fared slightly better with the Nasdaq Composite climbing 20.39 points or 0.13 percent to 15,181.92.
On foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar rallied. The euro dropped to 1.1765 approaching the New York close Thursday. The British pound slid to 1.3790. The Japanese yen fell to 109.71. The Swiss franc dived to 0.9268.
The Canadian dollar weakened to 1.2682. The Australian dollar dropped to 0.7291. The New Zealand dollar was sharply lower, losing more than a cent to 0.7073.
Overseas, in London, the FTSE 100 rose 0.16 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 climbed 0.59 percent. The German Dax appreciated by 0.23 percent.
On Asian markets, as reported by Business Sun, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong closed down 375.15 points or 1.50 percent to 24,658.06.
China's Shanghai Composite dropped 49.13 points or 1.34 percent to 3,607.09.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 shed 188.37 points or 0.62 percent to 30,323.34.
The Australian All Ordinaries, going against the regional trend, gained 36.60 points or 0.47 percent to 7,759.80.