U.S. stocks opened modestly lower Wednesday morning as the market reacted to weaker-than-expected economic data and geopolitical developments. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.58% slipped 50 points, or 0.2%, to 26,969, the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.16% fell 0.2% to 2,988, while the Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.48% retreated 0.4% to 8,118, near the opening bell. A report on retail sales showed that it fell 0.3% last month, the government said Thursday, ending a streak of six straight strong gains that helped to fuel economic growth in the middle of the year. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.3% increase. Consumers have been the pillar of the current economic expansion and cracks in that segment of the U.S. economic sentiment. Moves for stocks come as investors also digest quarterly results from American companies, with Bank of America Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200894270/composite BAC +0.17% reporting profits that topped analysts' consensus estimates and United Airlines Holdings Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205037281/composite UAL +1.51% also posted third-quarter results that topped expectations.