U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday after the government report showed that retail sales rose less than forecast in January.
The S&P 500 Index declined 4.66 points, or 0.35 percent, to trade at 1,327.24 at 9:45 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 46.69 points, or 0.38 percent, to trade at 12,221.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 0.35 percent.
US retail sales rose less than expected in January, but recorded a gain for a seventh consecutive month. Retail and food services sales in the US rose 0.3 percent to $381.6 billion in January compared with the revised figure of 0.5 percent increase in December last year. Core retail sales, excluding motor vehicle and parts, rose 0.3 percent against the economists’ expectations of 0.6 percent increase.
The NY Empire State Manufacturing Index, which measures the economic health of the manufacturing sector in New York region, rose better than expected in February. The manufacturing index rose to 15.4 in February, its highest level since June, from 11.90 in January and against analysts’ estimation of 15.0.
On the corporate front, Marriot International Inc. (NYSE:MAR) shares gained 3.76 percent to $42.53. The company reported fourth quarter net income of $0.39 per share and said it plans to spin-off its timeshare business into a separate company.
Jds Uniphase Corp. (NASDAQ:JDSU) shares plunged 5.42 percent after the company stock was downgraded to a “market perform” rating from “outperform” at Bernstein.
The euro gained 0.18 percent to 1.3514 against the dollar and the yen declined 0.61 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures gained 0.62 percent to $85.34/barrel and gold futures advanced 0.60 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE100 down by 14.43 points, DAX30 down by 0.19 points and CAC 40 up by 9.06 points.