Stocks lower on consumer spending, sentiment data

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Two negative reports on U.S. consumers were pushing stocks lower in early trading Friday.

KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average lost 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,657 in the first half-hour of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell two points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,918 and the Nasdaq composite lost two points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,246.

NO SALE: Consumer spending unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in April, according to a report by the Commerce Department. The drop was the first in a year, but economists expect it to be temporary.

In a separate report, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell more than analysts were expecting. The index fell to 81.9 in May from 84.9 in April. Economists had expected 82.8.

MAY GOES AWAY: Friday is the last trading day of May, which has been a relatively strong month for markets. The S&P 500 is up 1.8 percent, its best performance since February. The Nasdaq is up 3.2 percent and the Dow is up 0.5 percent.

SOLAR ECLIPSE: Sunglasses retailer Pacific Sunwear dropped 55 cents, or 19 percent, to $2.38. The company warned investors that would report a two-cent loss this quarter versus the two-cent profit that analysts had expected.