NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks pared gains on Thursday on news that technical discussions over Greece's debt crisis have ceased.
The S&P 500 was up 0.09%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.2%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.04%.
The International Monetary Fund's technical team has returned to Washington from Brussels as negotiations over Greece's future in the eurozone showed no progress. Discussions to secure Greece further debt relief in exchange for economic reforms will continue at a political level, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday. Greece has until June 30 to repay its debt obligations to the IMF.
Retail sales rose 1.2% in May, according to the Department of Commerce, proof consumers were beginning to loosen the purse strings after months of conservative spending.
Sales in April and March were also upwardly revised, a promising sign after a dismal first quarter. Excluding volatile items such as automobiles and food, retail sales increased 0.7%.
"These data confirm unequivocally that the earlier weakness in spending was a temporary weather-related blip," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. strategist at Capital Economics. "The [Federal Reserve] will probably still wait until September to begin raising interest rates, but the odds of a July hike just went up."
Rupert Murdoch, CEO and majority shareholder of 21st Century Fox (FOXA), is reportedly stepping down from his role to make way for his son James, according to CNBC. An announcement is expected in the near term. Shares erased earlier gains and fell slightly.
Weekly jobless claims increased 2,000 to 279,000 for the week ended June 6. Economists expected the number of people applying for unemployment benefits to have increased to 220,000. Claims remained near 15-year lows.
Inventories at U.S. business increased 0.4% in April, double what economists had expected. Business sales gained 0.6%, continuing momentum seen in March.
Stocks posted their biggest gains in more than a month on Wednesday. Investors piled into equities as crude oil secured a close above $61 a barrel and Greece's future brightened. The Dow recovered its 18,000 level. Click here for more.
Box (BOX) surged after reporting a first-quarter loss of 28 cents a share, 3 cents narrower than expected. Revenue of $65.62 million surged nearly 45% from a year earlier. The company, which went public earlier this year, also provided stronger-than-expected guidance. Click here for more.
Lululemon (LULU) fell more than 2% after founder Chip Wilson and his family said they are selling their entire stake in the company. The move will put 20.1 million shares, or 14% of shares outstanding, back onto the market. Click here for more.
European Union regulators have announced an investigation into Amazon's (AMZN) e-book business, determining whether the giant has used its position to edge out competitors. The EU has been fixed on bringing multinational tech behemoths such as Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL) to task over tax and antitrust issues.
After its bid was rejected by Syngenta's (SYT) board, Monsanto (MON) is taking its pitch directly to the herbicide company's shareholders. The company will argue the benefits of an acquisition to investors this week in meetings in Europe.
Nike (NKE) jumped more than 1% after sealing a merchandising and marketing deal with the NBA over the eight years. The partnership will begin in the 2017-18 season.