Updated from 9:13 a.m. EST
Stocks in New York were lower out of the gate Thursday on mixed data reports, with a greater-than-expected increase in jobless claims on one hand, but the largest increase in retail sales in 14 months on the other.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was recently falling 115 points at 7825, and the
was down 15 points to 819. The
also was lower by 21 points at 1509.
The major indices tied down modest gains Wednesday, after a variety of political, economic and corporate news weighed in, as investors watched bank CEOs testify about their use of financial bailout money, or so-called Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds.
The U.S. government shared another slate of economic data -- some better and some worse than expected -- a day after the joint committee of the Senate and House came to agreement on a $789 billion economic stimulus package. Both will now have to pass the final version with another vote.
Initial jobless claims for the week ended Feb. 7 rose to 623,000, while economists had predicted 610,000. But retail sales increased 1% in January, beating expectations for a 0.6% decline, and improving from a 3% decline in December. It was the greatest increase in 14 months.
The government will report business inventory figures later in the day.
In corporate news, media company
fourth-quarter earnings fell 69%, while revenue remained flat, as the company swallowed $454 million in restructuring charges.
said it will garner $1.02 billion
as it exits an agreement with
Aluminum Corp. of China
, or Chinalco, to purchase shares in miner
Alcoa and Chinalco also announced Thursday they intend to explore opportunities to expand their commercial relationship through strategic ventures.
Sirius XM Radio
is seeking an investment from
Wall Street Journal
reports, in a last-ditch effort to fend off an unsolicited takeover approach from satellite entrepreneur Charles Ergen.
Earlier in the week, the
New York Times
reported that Sirius XM
might file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection "within days" as it struggles to wrestle down debt, sending shares plummeting.
The dollar was recently weaker against the yen, and stronger against the pound and euro.
In commodities, oil was down another 44 cents to 35.50 a barrel. Gold rose $3.20 to $941.30 an ounce.
Longer-dated Treasuries were recently mixed; the 10-year note was recently flat to yield 2.8%, the 30-year was losing 1/32, yielding 3.5%.
Stocks were overseas were lower. In Europe, the FTSE in London and DAX in Frankfurt were recently down by 1.5% and 2.2%, respectively. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 3% and 2.3% in their session.