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NEW YORK, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended
slightly lower on Thursday, paring losses in late trading after
unexpectedly strong retail sales data underscored the strength
of the U.S. economic recovery.
The three major indexes spent much of the day in negative
territory as rising U.S. Treasury yields pressured
market-leading tech stocks, and the rising dollar weighed on
Amazon.com Inc, buoyed by solid online sales in the
Commerce Department's report, helped push the Nasdaq into
"Looking at today, clearly we had positive news from retail
sales and it looks as if the massive slowdown in the economy is
not materializing as a lot of people expected," said Ryan
Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte,
"It's a nice reminder that the economy is still taking two
steps forward for each step back even amid the COVID concerns,"
Economically sensitive transports and microchips
were among the outperformers.
Data released before the opening bell showed an unexpected
bump in retail sales as shoppers weathered Hurricane Ida and the
COVID Delta variant, evidence of resilience in the consumer, who
contributes about 70% to U.S. economic growth.
"Once again, it shows the U.S. consumer continues to spend
and continues to help this economy grow," Detrick added.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell
62.22 points, or 0.18%, to 34,752.17, the S&P 500 lost
6.65 points, or 0.15%, to 4,474.05 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 20.30 points, or 0.13%, to 15,181.83.
Energy stocks tumbled after crude prices retreated
from Wednesday's surge as threats to the Gulf of Mexico from
Hurricane Nicholas abated.
Select companies got a boost from the retail sales report.
Apparel company Gap Inc, online marketplace Etsy Inc
and luxury accessory company Tapestry Inc all
Ford Motor Co advanced after it announced plans to
boost production of its F-150 electric pickup model.
(Reporting by Stephen Culp; Additional reporting by Ambar
Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang)