NEW YORK — Stocks were down in early trading Thursday after news of weaker U.S. factory production, higher prices for shoppers and disappointing Wal-Mart earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,563 shortly after the market opened Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell six points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,882. The Nasdaq gave up seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,093.
Factory output fell in April after two months of strong growth as manufacturers produced less furniture and machinery. Higher food and gas costs pushed up consumer prices by the most in 10 months, a sign that inflation is ticking up from low levels.
Wal-Mart’s quarterly earnings fell 5 percent. The retailer was hurt by winter weather and continues to see its low-income customers struggle.