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Stocks Flitter on New Retail Data

The major indices tread just around the flat line.
Author:

Updated from 9:40 a.m. EDT

Stocks in the U.S. were lifting tentatively just above the flat line Thursday as traders looked to stem the selloff that hit Wall Street last time out.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

was adding 7 points to 12,821, and the

S&P 500

was up roughly flat at 1392. The

Nasdaq

was tacking on 1 point at 2439.

On Wednesday, the major averages in New York had a rough session, and the Dow slid 206.48 points, or 1.6%, to 12,814.35. The S&P 500 dropped 26 points at 1393, and the Nasdaq was off 44.82 points at 2438.49, meaning losses of 1.8% for both.

As the new session got underway, a slight rebound was taking shape.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

was one of the early gainers, rising 0.4% after saying its April same-store sales climbed 3.2% last month, excluding fuel sales, a result that topped expectations.

Total sales for the month climbed 9.8% to $29.18 billion. The world's biggest retailer was just one of many U.S. chain stores reporting numbers during the morning.

Costco

TheStreet Recommends

(COST) - Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report

said comps were up 8% last month, but

Limited

(LTD)

had a same-store sales decline of 5%.

BJ's Wholesale

(BJ) - Get BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. Report

had an increase of 17.8% in comps, and at

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report

, same-store sales rose 5% worldwide last month.

Gap

(GPS) - Get Gap, Inc. (GPS) Report

was also a positive, lifting its first-quarter profit forecast.

Among the analyst actions, Merrill Lynch downgraded a number of airlines, cutting

Delta

(DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report

,

UAL

(UAUA)

,

US Airways

(LCC)

,

AMR

(AMR)

and

Contintental

(CAL) - Get Caleres, Inc. Report

to neutral from buy.

Crude oil futures were climbing again, this time by 13 cents to $123.66 a barrel in New York. Gold was up $6.50 at $877.70 an ounce.

Treasury prices were higher, with the exception of the 30-year bond, which declined 3/32 in price to yield 4.61%. The 10-year was up 4/32 in price, yielding 3.86%.

Overseas, stocks were mostly to the downside. Tokyo's Nikkei lost 1.1% to 13,943, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.6% to 25,450. In Europe, the London FTSE edged lower to 6260, and the Paris Cac was off 0.5% at 5049. Frankfurt's Xetra Dax shed 0.4% to 7051.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.