By Phil Wahba NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several major U.S. retailers posted disappointing sales for November after cautious shoppers pinched their pennies at the start of a shorter holiday season. Costco Wholesale Corp on Thursday said sales at stores open at least a year rose 2 percent, below the 3.3 percent increase analysts were looking for, according to Thomson Reuters. Wall Street analysts are expecting 11 top retailers to report a 2.7 percent increase in same-store sales for November, according to Thomson Reuters. Retailers have been contending with low consumer confidence and the need to prod shoppers with bargains this holiday season, which has six fewer days because of a late Thanksgiving.
Gross domestic product grew at a 3.6 percent annual rate instead of the 2.8 percent pace reported earlier, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The contribution from inventories had previously been estimated at 0.8 percentage point. A gauge of domestic demand rose at just a 1.8 percent rate. The strong inventory accumulation in the face of a slowdown in domestic demand means businesses will need to draw down on stocks, which will weigh on GDP growth this quarter.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Thursday as traders fretted that strong labor market and economic growth data could make the Federal Reserve push forward a timetable to wind down its asset purchases program. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24.34 points, or 0.15 percent, to 15,865.43, the S&P 500 lost 2.24 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,790.57 and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.537 points, or 0.06 percent, to 4,040.538. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernadette Baum)