U.S. Stocks ended lower on Thursday following a mixed batch of economic readings, including a sharp rise in wholesale prices which failed to ease doubts about whether recent moves by the Federal Reserve would improve the economy.

Higher-than-expected earnings from Lehman Brothers failed to ease concerns about the impact the credit crisis would have on the financial sector.

Lehman, the nation's No. 4 investment bank, saw its shares slip 0.78 per cent to $61.38 but outperformed on another poor day for financials. The S&P financial index was down 1.4 per cent at 396.27.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose by 1.2 percent in November, the largest amount in six months. A Labor Department report showed new claims filed by those seeking jobless benefits dropped by 15,000 to 338,000 last week.

Yesterday, the U.S Federal Reserve and major central banks proposed an aggressive plan to pump more money into the global banking system in attempts to help banks pay off their debts.

We are not going to see the benefit of what the Fed does this week until sometime later this month, said Paul Nolte, director of investments at Hinsdale Associates according to Dow Jones.

All indexes were down in late afternoon trading. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 90.00, or 0.67 percent, to 13,410.00 while the Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 11.40, or 0.76 percent, to 1,478.80, while the Nasdaq composite index dipped 11.40, or 0.76 percent, to 1,478,80.