Stocks held lower at midday Thursday, pulling the Dow Jones Industrial Average further from its elusive 20,000 milestone. Walmart (WMT) - Get Report and Action Alerts PLUS holding Visa (V) - Get Report shares were the biggest drag on the blue-chip index.
U.S. consumer spending slowed in November as personal incomes floundered. Both came in below consensus.
Energy spending also tempered in November as the price of oil recovered.
Weight Watchers (WTW) - Get Report 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 last year.
ConAgra (CAG) - Get Report increased despite a drop in second-quarter profit and sales. Revenue declined 11% as the company focused on reducing its reliance on discounting. Adjusted earnings came in above estimates.