NEW YORK, March 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks took a toll on Thursday as lingering concerns about Ukraine outweighed upbeat U.S. economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 231.19 points, or 1.41 percent, to 16,108.89. The S&P 500 lost 21.86 points, or 1.17 percent, to 1,846.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index plunged 62.91 points, or 1.46 percent, to 4,260.42.
After repeatedly refreshing record highs for the S&P 500 last week, Wall Street has seen a pullback this week, as simmering tensions in Ukraine and concerns about China's economy continued to put a damper on the stocks.
The blue-chip Dow logged a four-day losing streak while the tech-rich Nasdaq dropped in five of last six days. The broader S&P 500 erased all its gains year to date to 0.1 percent lower for the year.
Losses in the stock market accelerated in the afternoon trading session following reports that U.S. F-16 fighter jets landed at Poland's Lask air base to join military maneuver.
Adding to negative sentiment, China's official data showed Thursday that growth in the country's retail sales slowed to 11.8 percent year on year in the first two months of the year.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, jumped 12.09 percent to end at 16.22.
The U.S. equity market initially moved higher on encouraging data coming out of the world's largest economy.
U.S. retail and food services sales in February rebounded 0.3 percent, but the January reading was downwardly revised to a 0.6- percent decline, said the Commerce Department Thursday.
Meanwhile, U.S. import and export prices increased at a faster pace in February, said the Labor Department, with import prices rising 0.9 percent and export prices up 0.6 percent, topping market consensus.
A separate report by the Labor Department showed the number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits in the week ending March 8 fell 9,000 to 315,000, beating analysts' expectation.
In other markets, the U.S. dollar Thursday rebounded against the euro following European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's remarks but weakened against the yen on lingering Ukraine concerns.
Draghi said Thursday that the euro's level is increasingly relevant in the central bank's assessment of price stability, signaling that appreciation of the euro may have raised deflation risk.
In late New York trading, the euro dropped to 1.3858 dollars from 1.3903 dollars in the previous session. The dollar bought 101. 66 Japanese yen, lower than 102.69 yen of the previous session.
U.S. oil price rose on better-than-expected U.S. economic data.
Light, sweet crude for April delivery moved up 21 cents to settle at 98.2 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for April delivery lost 63 cents to close at 107.39 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose for the fourth session in a row on Thursday and remained at the highest level in six months.
The most active gold contract for April delivery went up 1.9 dollars, or 0.14 percent, to settle at 1,372.4 dollars per ounce.