U.S. stocks fell at the starting of trading on Friday, weighed down by a disappointing reading on retail sales, while Canadian stocks were relatively flat.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 69 points or 0.7 per cent, to 10,103. The broader S&P 500 fell 7 points or 0.7 per cent, to 1080.
Before the start of trading, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales in May slipped 1.2 per cent, an unexpected setback that marks the first decline since September, 2009.
General Electric Co. fell 1 per cent and Ford Motor Co. fell 0.3 per cent. However, some of the bigger declines were among defensive stocks. Coca-Cola Co. fell 2 per cent and Procter & Gamble fell 1.4 per cent.
Pfizer Inc. rose 3.4 per cent and Bristol Myers Squibb rose 3.3 per cent after they agreed to halt clinical trials of Phase 3 Averroes, a drug on which the two companies had been collaborating, due to early signs of success.
In Canada, energy stocks were mixed after the price of crude oil retreated below $74 (U.S.) a barrel. Suncor Energy Inc. rose 0.8 per cent but Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. rose 0.2 per cent.
Among financials, Manulife Financial Corp. fell 0.9 per cent.