U.S. stocks are down slightly in Friday morning trading after the release of U.S. retail sales data and news of further monetary tightening from China.
The S&P 500 Index is down 0.78 points, or 0.06 percent, to trade at 1,282.98 at 10:30 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 14.15 points, or 0.12 percent, to trade at 11,717.75. The Nasdaq Composite has declined 0.07 percent.
Retail sales for December rose 0.6 percent from the previous month, which was slightly below the consensus estimate of a 0.7 percent gain.
Consumer prices increased 0.5 percent. Excluding food and energy cost, it climbed 0.1 percent. These results are largely in line with expectations.
The Chinese government on Friday raised the reserve requirement ratio for banks by 50 basis points. Last year, China hiked the ratio 6 times.
This move is seen as a negative for the global economy because tightening monetary policy will likely dampen China’s consumption demand.
Banking giant JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) released fourth quarter results earlier this morning. They were well received by investors and its shares are up 1.39 percent.