Stocks were little changed Thursday as investors continued to assess the strength of the U.S. economy

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 36 points, or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 index declined 0.06% and the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.04%. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 have lost ground in each of the last three sessions, falling Wednesday after the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, a survey of business conditions across the U.S, said economic activity slowed over the summer as the COVID-19 delta variant spread across the country.

Ticker Security Last Change Change % I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35018.31 -12.76 -0.04%SP500 S&P 500 4512.87 -1.20 -0.03%I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15323.077207 +36.44 +0.24%

In economic data, initial jobless claims last week fell to a pandemic-era low of 310,000. 

In stocks, United Airlines Holdings Inc. warned Thursday that quarterly revenue will fall 33% from a year ago as the delta variant has resulted in weaker travel demand. Capacity is expected to be at least 28% below year-ago levels, worse than the previous forecast of a more than 26% decline.   

Rival Delta Air Lines Inc. said adjusted quarterly revenue would be at the low end of its prior guidance.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change % UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS, INC. 47.19 +1.66 +3.65%DAL DELTA AIR LINES, INC. 41.53 +1.85 +4.66%

Meanwhile, GameStop Corp. posted a wider-than-expected loss as sales surged 25% from a year ago. The video game retailer did not provide an outlook or take questions on its quarterly conference call. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change % GME GAMESTOP CORP. 196.22 -2.54 -1.28%

Lululemon beat on both the top and bottom lines as the pandemic-fueled spending boom on athletic apparel showed no signs of slowing down. The company is on track to exceed its 2023 revenue target by the end of this year. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change % LULU LULULEMON ATHLETICA, INC. 426.02 +45.17 +11.86%

Elsewhere, Cisco Systems Inc. was downgraded to "equal weight" from "overweight" at Morgan Stanley over valuation concerns. The firm raised its price target by $2 to $59 per share.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change % CSCO CISCO SYSTEMS, INC. 58.66 -0.02 -0.03%

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell $1.16 to $68.14 a barrel and gold rose $5.50 to $1,799 an ounce.

Overseas markets were mostly mixed. 

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European trading was choppy, with France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX 30 little changed after the European Central Bank kept rates unchanged and said it would begin to taper its asset purchase plan. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 1.12%,  

In Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 2.3% and China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.49% amid reports of a further regulatory crackdown by Chinese regulators. Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.57%. 

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