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Retail sales post solid gain, Apple's big move in China

Wall Street kicked off the day mixed after a volatile week despite better-than-expected retail sales data. The Commerce Department reported April retail sales rose 1.3%. That marks the largest gain since March 2015.

Retail rout

Nordstrom (JWN) hit a fresh 52-week low in early trading. The high-end department store chain slashed its outlook for the year and said will need to make further adjustments to clear inventory. This after it reported much weaker-than-expected earnings for the first quarter and revenue that also missed estimates.  

Things didn't go so well for J.C. Penney (JCP) either last quarter. Although the retailer posted a smaller-than-expected loss, revenue fell short of forecasts due to worse than expected same-store sales growth. The company also lowered its margin outlook for the year.  

Ditto for Dillard's (DDS), the stock fell this morning. The department store chain rang in disappointing first quarter results as profit and revenue fell from a year ago. 

Shake Shack (SHAK) raised its revenue guidance for the year after it delivered a beat on both its top and bottom lines for the first three months of the year. Sales soared 43% from a year earlier as it benefited from more store traffic thanks in part to the launch of its fried chicken sandwich. 

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Apple’s big investment

Apple (AAPL) is hoping to hail a ride to higher profits by investing one billion dollars into the ride hailing service Didi Chuxing. Apple's CEO Tim Cook says the company made the investment to learn more about the Chinese market – and of course – deliver a strong return for investors. 

Facebook Investigation

Facebook’s (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg is launched an investigation into why pro-conservative stories were excluded from the trending topics list. The social networking site still denies tampering with the stories its users see.  In order to add more transparency – the company released a 28-page document explaining how computer algorithms and news editors setup the trending topics feature.  

Trump vs. Amazon

Donald Trump is calling out Amazon  (AMZN)- saying the company has “a huge antitrust problem." He also called out Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos on a Fox News interview.  Bezos owns the Washington Post -- and the Republican presidential candidate says he uses the paper -- to influence Washington and avoid paying taxes.  Amazon did not comment on the accusation.