From Mark Decambre
: U.S. stocks opened solidly lower Thursday morning after lackluster economic reports overshadowed optimism over progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.42%
fell about 205 points to 25339, a decline of 0.8%, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.28%
fell 0.7% to reach 2,734, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.04%
declined by 0.5% to 7,384. The retail sales report is likely to weigh on the government's official scorecard for the economy known as gross domestic product, with fears of a recession looming. Retail sales sank
1.2% in December, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday. It's the largest drop since September 2009, a few months after the end of the Great Recession. A note from analysts at Jefferies, immediately after the retail sales report, referred to it as "dreadful" and questioned the reliability of the data. The market had been set for gains on optimism over progress between China and the U.S. as reports indicated that Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and top trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer on Friday, as the countries attempt to resolve longstanding trade differences that have roiled markets. In corporate news, shares of Dow-component Coca-Cola Co.KO, -7.33%
fell after reporting revenues that were weaker than expected, while another blue-chip member, Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, +2.72%
saw its shares rise after topping analysts' average estimates.