Retail sales up but stocks drop
Profit-taking also played a part in the market’s decline, with investors selling some stocks to lock in gains from this year’s rally. The S&P 500 is set to close its strongest yearly performance in more than a decade.
He said the market is “taper-schizophrenic” as it tries to second-guess the Fed’s reaction to recent economic data.
Facebook, however, closed at its highest since Oct. 25 a day after it was selected to join the S&P 500 index.
The change becomes effective after the close on Dec. 20. In Thursday’s session, the social network’s stock jumped 5 percent to end at $51.83 and helped cap the Nasdaq’s loss.
The S&P 500 lost 6.72 points or 0.38 percent, to finish at 1,775.50. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.41 points or 0.14 percent, to close at 3,998.403.
The dollar rose 0.4 percent against a basket of major currencies and spot gold slid 2 percent.
The market is expected to be more volatile ahead of the Fed meeting.
The CBOE Volatility Index closed on Thursday at 15.54, its highest since Oct. 15, and the options market showed a trader purchased 40,000 call options at the 22 strike. The VIX has not traded above 22 this year, though it brushed against that level in June in the wake of a Fed announcement.
Lululemon Athletica Inc shares tumbled 11.7 percent to $60.39 after the yoga apparel company said fewer customers are visiting its stores and supply-chain issues are hitting sales in the crucial fourth quarter.
Food services provider Aramark Holdings Corp staged a more impressive debut, up 13.5 percent at $22.70 after going public at $20 per share.
Shares of J.C. Penney rose 0.8 percent to $8.55. Chief Executive Officer Mike Ullman told Reuters that the department store chain is eliminating or trimming some high-profile brands introduced by former CEO Ron Johnson.
Southwest Airlines was the S&P 500’s largest percentage advancer, gaining 4.6 percent to $18.79 after Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised its rating on the airline operator’s stock to “buy.”
About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, slightly above the 6.1 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.
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