Stocks recovered from a midday slump, keeping major indexes in the green for the week. The market started strong on Thursday after a surprisingly good retail sales report for August, but then quickly turned lower and remained there for much of the day. However, by late afternoon, major indexes had clawed back much of the ground they lost earlier, per the AP. In the end, the Dow lost 63 points to 34,751, the S&P 500 lost 6 points to 4,473, and the Nasdaq gained 20 points to 15,181. A mix of retailers gained ground following the retail sales report, which showed a surprise jump in August. Gap rose 2.3% and Bath & Body Works rose 2.3%.
The Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 0.7% last month. Economists had expected a 0.85% contraction over concerns that people would have pulled back on spending as the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 prompts consumers to pull back on shopping. Consumers simply shifted spending to more online purchases and away from businesses that are still struggling to recover from the pandemic, including restaurants and other business that rely on in-person spending. Markets have been choppy as investors shift money between various sectors while they parse any data coming out that could give more clues and signals on the potential direction of the economy and how the Federal Reserve will react.
(Read more stock market