Stocks were at the weakest levels of the session in the afternoon trading on Friday.
Near 1:56 p.m. ET, the Dow was down 142 points (0.81%), the S&P 500 was down 13 points (0.66%), and the Nasdaq was down 15 points (0.34%.)
Energy and financials were the sectors with the biggest losses. Tech was flat and the best performer.
Walmart shares fell the most on the index, by 2.4%. The retailer reports earnings in the fourthcoming week alongside others.
The past week has been ugly for retail earnings, particularly in the apparel space. Earlier Friday, we heard from JC Penney, which missed sales projections and cut its forecasts for the year. Its shares fell 10% but were down just about 3% in afternoon trading.
Overall retail sales were solid last month, as the Census Bureau’s data showed a 1.3% climb in April, the biggest in a year, led by strong sales of cars and gasoline.
In other economic data, consumer confidence via the University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index was stronger than expected for May. The index came in at 95.8, up from 89 in April.
And, the producer price index came in less than expected, at 0.2% for April.