NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks were hovering around the flatline as weak industrial data suggested a bounceback from the dismal first quarter could be more gradual than hoped for.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were flat, and the Nasdaq slid 0.04%.
Stocks rallied back to record levels on Thursday, helped by continued weakness in the U.S. dollar and as Treasury yields stabilized. The S&P 500 closed 3 points above a previous record, while the Dow hovered within 40 points of its high.
Industrial production remained weak in April, down 0.3%, notching its fifth straight decline. Economists had expected a flat reading after the measure fell 0.6% in March.
"Industrial production in April was dragged down by a drop back in utilities output, as the earlier weather-related distortion was unwound, and a sharp decline in oil and gas drilling," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
Consumer sentiment in May fell to a preliminary reading of 88.6, a seven-month low, according to the University of Michigan's consumer survey. Economists had expected a May level of 94.5 after a final reading of 95.9 in April.
The Empire State manufacturing index moved into positive territory in May, but not by enough to satisfy expectations. Manufacturing conditions in New York rose to 3.1 from a negative reading of 1.2 in April, though the reading came in below estimates of 5.5.
"This was a constructive report as the rise back in expansionary territory is an important indication that the backsliding in activity may have ended," said TD Securities' Millan Mulraine in a note. "Nevertheless, with the index still languishing close to the zero mark, it suggests that growth momentum in the manufacturing sector has rebounded only marginally, which is a far cry from the spectacular bounce in activity seen last year."
Netflix (NFLX) could be taking its content to China. The streaming service is reportedly in talks with Shanghai-based BesTV New Media and Wasu Media Holding, a company backed by a group that includes Alibaba's (BABA) Jack Ma. Shares were up 4.9%.
King Digital Entertainment (KING), creator of popular mobile game Candy Crush, tumbled more than 10% after warning that foreign currency exchange could hurt its results later in the year. Click here for more.
Avon Products (AVP) slipped as investors continue to take back gains after a rally on Thursday. The beauty company surged following a bizarre hoax in which a Securities and Exchange Commission filing said Avon received a generous buyout offer from a company that doesn't appear to exist. Click here for more.
Deere & Company (DE) fell after receiving a downgrade to "underweight" from Morgan Stanley. Analysts said the industry was in "dire straits with the potential for a liquidity crunch for farmers into 2016."
Hertz (HTZ) moved higher after announcing it will close around 200 locations in the U.S. as part of its cost-cutting measures. The closures will save the car rental company about $10 million a year. Hertz plans to cut about $200 million by year's end.
Dillard's (DDS) shares fell after the department store missed analysts' estimates for earnings and revenue in the first quarter. The company earned $2.66 a share, below analysts' estimates of $2.78 a share for the quarter. Revenue grew to $1.57 billion in the first quarter from $1.55 billion in the year-ago quarter, missing analysts' estimates of $1.61 billion.