By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) - U.S. stocks struggled on Thursday as an attempt by technology companies to rebound from this week's sharp losses was outweighed by a batch of weak results and Brexit-related concerns.
Department store operators J.C. Penney Co Inc
J.C. Penney shares edged 0.4 percent higher as Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau gave indications of her plans to turn a profit. Dillard's fell 14.5 percent.
The results pulled down the broader group, sending the S&P 500 retailing index <.SPXRT> 1.6 percent lower, despite economic data that showed U.S. retail sales rebounded sharply in October. Walmart was down 2 percent.
Political events in Europe also scared investors after a series of resignations in British Prime Minister Theresa May's government threw into doubt her long-awaited Brexit deal and reports of anti-euro comments from an Italian official.
"There's news around Brexit and traders are reassessing the notion that we could have a no-deal Brexit," said Matt Forester, chief investment officer at BNY Mellon's Lockwood Advisors in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
"Overall earnings highlight concerns that we've seen the best earnings growth in this cycle and we're concerned about the future."
U.S. stocks got off to a shaky start this month after a sharp selloff in October as investors weigh the prospects of rising interest rates, slowing global economy and heightening trade tensions.
At 1:18 p.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> was down 42.11 points, or 0.17 percent, at 25,038.39, the S&P 500 <.SPX> was up 1.73 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,703.31 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> was up 34.14 points, or 0.48 percent, at 7,170.54.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, led by a 1.5 percent decline in the consumer discretionary index <.SPLRCD> as Amazon.com Inc
Shares in utility PG&E Corp
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.28-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.22-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded two new 52-week highs and 19 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded six new highs and 134 new lows.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
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Updated Date: Nov 16, 2018 01:05:07 IST