US stocks fall as retail sales disappoint

NYSE traders Image copyright Reuters

Weaker-than-expected retail sales figures weighed on Wall Street on Friday, pushing two of three major indexes lower.

Commerce Department figures showed US retail sales up 0.4% in April, but economists had predicted a rise of 0.6%.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq index climbed 5.27 points to 6,121.23.

But the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.81 points to 20,896.61 and the S&P 500 slid 3.57 points to 2,390.69.

Shares in JC Penney sank 14% after it became the latest department store chain to report disappointing results. In the first three months of the year, the retailer's net sales dropped 3.7% to $2.71bn - the third quarter in a row they have fallen.

Stock at Nordstrom, which reported after the bell on Thursday, also saw a steep fall of nearly 11%.

The sector is struggling to adapt to changing trends, with consumers increasingly shopping online instead of visiting malls.

As well as retail sales data, investors were also digesting the latest US inflation figures.

The Labor Department said that US consumer prices increased by 0.2% in April, following a 0.3% fall in the previous month, taking the annual rate to 2.2%.

Core consumer prices, which strip out the cost of food and energy, rose 0.1% last month, and were up 1.9% from a year earlier.