NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

4:00 p.m.

A steep drop-off in grocery store operators helped pull stock indexes slightly lower after a day of up-and-down trading.

Kroger dropped 8.1 percent Thursday after Whole Foods Market said its deal to be acquired by Amazon would close on Monday and that the store would begin cutting prices immediately. Costco lost 5 percent.

Food companies slumped after the makers of Spam and Folgers coffee reported weak results. Hormel lost 5.4 percent and J.M. Smucker fell 9.5 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,438.

The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 28 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,783. The Nasdaq fell 7 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,271.

Small-company stocks rose. The Russell 2000 index climbed 4 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,373.


11:45 a.m.

Stocks were drifting between small gains and losses in midday trading, the latest meandering course for a market that’s been pushed in many directions the last few weeks.

Retailers were big winners Thursday after several of them reported surprisingly strong profits. Dollar Tree rose 8.6 percent.

Food companies slumped after the makers of Spam and Folgers coffee reported weak results. Hormel lost 6.3 percent and J.M. Smucker fell 7.4 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down 3 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,440.

The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 14 points, or 0.1 percent, to 21,794. The Nasdaq composite fell 24 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,254.

Small-company stocks rose. The Russell 2000 index climbed 5 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,375.


9:35 a.m.

Stocks are rising in early trading on Wall Street after several retailers reported earnings that were far better than analysts were expecting.

The good news from Signet Jewelers, Guess and Dollar Tree Thursday helped allay concerns investors have been having about traditional retailers losing ground to online giants like Amazon.com.

Signet soared 20 percent in early trading, Guess jumped 18.7 percent and Dollar Tree added 8.9 percent.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,448.

The Dow Jones industrial average increased 38 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,854. The Nasdaq composite added 17 points, or 0.3 percent, to 6,295.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.19 percent.