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US stocks dip as weak retail sales overshadow a bit of good news about the job market
U.S. stock indexes are trading lower at midday after a slew of conflicting economic reports and a disappointing close for European markets.
Several big retailers said Thursday that they sold less than expected in April as colder temperatures kept shoppers home.
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell last week by the most in three months. That's a hopeful sign for the main April jobs report, due out on Friday.
European stocks closed lower on signs that the European Central Bank is reluctant to keep pumping money into the region's banks.
The Dow Jones industrial average is down 30 points at 13,238 as of 11:50 a.m. EDT. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is down six at 1,396. The Nasdaq composite average is down 21 at 3,038.