NEW YORK (AP) — Retailers pulled stocks lower Wednesday as U.S. markets reopened following the Christmas holiday.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 49 points to 13,090 as of noon. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell seven to 1,419 and the Nasdaq composite lost 19 to 2,993.
Trading was quiet. European markets were still closed.
Major U.S. retailers fell following a glum report on U.S. holiday sales. Macy’s and Urban Outfitters lost 3 percent. Sears Holdings fell nearly 5 percent.
The MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse report found that sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods increased just 0.7 percent in the two months before Christmas compared with the same period last year.
That’s well below the growth of 3 to 4 percent growth that analysts had expected and the worst performance since 2008, when spending shrank during the Great Recession. Last year sales climbed 4 to 5 percent during November and December, according to ShopperTrak.
The disappointing holiday sales figures outweighed the latest hopeful indicator on the U.S. housing market.