The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated further from the elusive 20,000 milestone, losing its drive ahead of the Christmas break.
The Dow was down 0.13%, roughly 80 points from 20,000. The S&P 500 fell 0.2%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.45%. Dow components American Express (AXP - Get Report) and Walmart (WMT - Get Report) fell 1% and 2.3%, respectively, on Thursday.
The Dow's creeping path to 20,000 hit pause on Wednesday after a meandering day of slight losses. The blue-chip index has struggled to move past that threshold, though managed to move within 15 points of the record.
Dow 20,000 has been on watch since the index hit the 19,000 mark for the first time just a month ago on Nov. 22. The Dow first hit 10,000 in March 1999.
"With the DJIA flirting with the 20,000 level, we are reminded that millennium and century marks on major stock indices have traditionally acted like rusty doors, requiring several attempts before finally swinging open," said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research. "It should come as no surprise if stocks take a breather to digest recent gains."
The Dow has moved higher in response to optimism over President-elect Donald Trump's proposed spending plans. Trump's administration, viewed as Wall Street friendly, has already backed deregulation, infrastructure spending and tax cuts.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY - Get Report) dragged on the underperforming cyclical consumer sector. The company declined 8% after reporting weaker quarterly earnings and issuing for a disappointing full-year guidance. The homewares retailer earned 85 cents a share over its recent quarter, missing estimates of 98 cents, while revenue of $2.96 billion fell short of $3 billion consensus. Bed, Bath & Beyond targets full-year profit at the low-end of its previous guidance.
Other companies in the cyclical consumer space also fell, including Starbucks (SBUX - Get Report) , Priceline (PCLN) , Home Depot (HD - Get Report) and Lowe's (LOW - Get Report) . The Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY - Get Report) slid 1.1%.
The U.S. economy grew by 3.5% in the third quarter as consumer spending came in stronger than expected. Previous estimates had pegged third-quarter GDP at 3.2%. Spending improved to 3% from 2.8%.
"Altogether, the third estimate of Q3 GDP paints a picture of a healthy consumer, likely fueled by ongoing gains in employment, modest increases in wages, and solid balance sheets," Barclays analyst Michael Gapen wrote in a note.
Crude oil rebounded on Thursday after U.S. growth encouraged hopes of increased demand. Commodities tumbled on Wednesday after weekly data showed a surprise increase in domestic oil stockpiles, a worrying development in the face of an already-oversupplied global oil market. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries brought some relief to commodity markets in late November after agreeing to a production cut. OPEC's agreement is set to go into effect in January.
"While the market is likely to remain sensitive to the latest headlines regarding planned compliance with OPEC and non-OPEC production cuts, we think it will take actual production data to really get a handle on overall compliance and overall supply," said Tim Evans, energy futures specialist at Citi. "Until we see that data, we think crude oil may be range-bound."
West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 0.9% to close at $52.95 a barrel.
Durable goods orders fell back in November, reversing a sizeable gain seen in October. The metric, measuring orders for long-lasting goods in the U.S., fell by 4.6%. Analysts had anticipated a decline of 4%. Core capital goods orders increased 0.9% in November. The largest drag was nondefense aircraft orders.
Weekly jobless claims rose by their most since April 2014, though remained below the 300,000 threshold. The number of new claims for unemployment benefit increased by 21,000 to 275,000, the highest level since mid-June.
U.S. consumer spending slowed to up 0.2% in November and personal incomes floundered. Personal incomes remained unchanged last month, according to the Commerce Department, below an expected 0.3% increase. Outlays rose 0.2%, also weaker than 0.3% growth expected. Energy spending tempered in November as the price of oil recovered. Spending on energy rose 1.3%, more than half growth since September.
Rite Aid (RAD - Get Report) moved lower on Thursday after third-quarter earnings came in weaker than expected. The pharmacy chain, currently undergoing steps to merge with Walgreens (WBA - Get Report) , reported adjusted earnings of 2 cents a share. Adjusted profit was half what analysts expected. Same-store sales declined 3.4%, dragged down by a slump in pharmacy sales.
Micron Technology (MU - Get Report) jumped after a better-than-expected first quarter. The chipmaker earned 32 cents a share over the quarter, 4 cents above estimates. Revenue surged nearly 18% to $3.97 billion, topping forecasts by $20 million.
Red Hat (RHT) plummeted after Chief Financial Officer Frank Calderoni announced his resignation. Principal accounting officer, Eric Shander, will assume the position in the interim. The open-source tech company also issued weaker-than-expected guidance for its fourth quarter and full year. Red Hat anticipates fourth-quarter and full-year sales no higher than $622 million and $2.405 billion, respectively. Consensus was for fourth-quarter sales of $638 million and full-year sales of $2.42 billion.
Conagra (CAG - Get Report) climbed 2% despite a drop in second-quarter profit and sales. Revenue declined 11% as the company focused on reducing the number of discounts. Second-quarter profit fell to 28 cents a share from 35 cents. Adjusted earnings of 49 cents a share beat estimates by 4 cents.
Weight Watchers (WTW) got a bump from Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey, who owns a 10% stake, divulged a 40-pound weight loss using the program. Winfrey first announced her stake in October 2015.
Hershey (HSY - Get Report) named Michelle Buck as its next CEO, effective March 2017, after 11 years at the company. Buck currently serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Buck will assume CEO John Bilbrey's position. Bilbrey will hold a position on the board.