U.S. Stock Futures Slip as Retail Sales Drop Most in Nine Months

U.S. stock futures extended losses, signaling benchmark indexes will retreat from record highs, after government data showed retail sales unexpectedly dropped last month by the most in nine months.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in June retreated 0.5 percent to 1,580 at 8:33 a.m. in New York. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 60 points, or 0.4 percent, to 14,736. The benchmark indexes closed at all-time highs yesterday as jobless claims fell more than estimated.

The 0.4 percent decrease in retail sales, the biggest since June, followed a 1 percent gain in February, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an unchanged reading in March. Department stores and electronics dealers were among the weakest showings.

In a separate survey, economists forecast the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan gauge of consumer sentiment was little changed in April from the prior month, at 78.5. March’s reading of 78.6 was the highest since November.

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