Stocks Fall on Retail Sales Data

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. benchmark indices were falling Thursday after a modest showing for economic data and amid flaring geopolitical risks.

U.S. retail sales increased by a less-than-expected 0.3% in May, though April's large upward revision to 0.5% should help maintain expectations of an acceleration in the contribution from the consumer to second-quarter GDP growth.

Jobless claims rose slightly by 4,000 to 317,000 in the week ended June 7. The data aren't expected to hurt the outlook on the job market recovery. Import prices ticked up just 0.1% in May, keeping inflation concerns in check.

Risk appetite Thursday could be impacted by escalating geopolitical uncertainty sparked by developments in Iraq, where al-Qaeda affiliates are reportedly taking over key northern cities and are on their way to Baghdad.

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% to 1,938.49, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower by 0.3% to 16,798.12, and the Nasdaq was down 0.2% to 4,323.01. The S&P 500 suffered its biggest daily decline in three weeks on Wednesday after the World Bank slashed its global economic outlook.

Stocks in the spotlight Thursday include Amazon.com (AMZN), Twitter (TWTR), Lululemon Athletica (LULU), Intel (INTC), and Infosys (INFY).

Lululemon Athletica was plunging 15.3% to $37.74 after the yoga and athletic apparel retailer issued a second-quarter forecast for both revenue and earnings that was below analysts' expectations. Amazon.com was down 1.6% to $330 after it launched a new streaming music service on Thursday that is part of its $99 Prime subscription service. Infosys, the Indian outsourcing giant, appointed a new chief executive to help revive the company's flagging fortunes. Shares were 0.9% lower at $54.28.

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