U.S. stocks struggled to march ahead by mid-day trade on Wednesday after 8 days of winning streak paused at the Dow Jones Index; however, unexpectedly strong retail sales data from the Commerce Department prevented heavy losses.
At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index slipped 0.07%; the NASDAQ Composite Index slid 0.08% while the S&P 500 Index inched down 0.03%.
Shares of Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX
) gained on Wednesday after the movie streaming and DVD rental company said that it has introduced new features which would allow its U.S. based subscribers to sync their Netflix accounts with Facebook (NASDAQ: FB
). With the help of this new feature, Netflix users will not only be able to share with their Netflix-movie watching friends what they saw on Netflix video services but also be able to show their movie watching history to Facebook friends.
Shares of Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR
) slumped on Wednesday after the apparel and accessories retailer provided downbeat outlook on the current quarter, citing drop in customer-traffic at its stores in February and fall in average billing. The Company expects same-store-sales will either decline or remain flat in the fiscal first quarter. However, the Company handed better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter results.
Earlier today, a data provided by the Commerce Department showed that retail sales in February jumped by 1.1% while economists’ consensus estimate was for 0.5% increase. January’s retail sales were upwardly revised to 0.2% from 0.1%.
A separate data provided by the Commerce Department showed that business inventories jumped 1% in January, a biggest increase in last 18 months. Economists polled by Reuters were expecting 0.4% gain.
Elsewhere in Europe, mainly all leading benchmark indexes traded lower as the market sentiment was hurt by more-than-expected contraction in the euro zone’s industrial output in January.