The S&P 500 ended slightly down on Thursday, paring losses in late trading after unexpectedly strong retail sales data underscored the strength of the U.S. economic recovery. The three major indexes spent much of the day in negative territory as rising U.S. Treasury yields pressured market-leading tech stocks, and the rising dollar weighed on exporters. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 63.07 points, or 0.18%, to 34,751.32; the S&P 500 lost 6.95 points, or 0.16%, at 4,473.75; and the Nasdaq Composite added 20.40 points, or 0.13%, at 15,181.92.

European stocks rose as travel stocks snapped a four day losing streak after Ryanair lifted its long-term traffic forecast, offsetting concerns about China's slowing economy that dragged down miners. The pan-European STOXX 600 index climbed 0.4%, bouncing off a six-week closing low hit in the previous session. Europe's largest low cost carrier Ryanair jumped 7.9% after it raised its long-term traffic forecast. Rivals easyJet, British Airways-owner IAG and Wizz Air gained between 3.9% and 7%.

Maltese markets meanwhile ended lower, with the MSE Equity Total Return Index closing down 0.47% at 8,059.240 points. MIDI plc led the losses, after its shares dropped 13.27% to €0.366, followed by BMIT Technologies plc, down 2.04% at €0.48. The MSE Malta Government Stocks Total Return Index gained 0.28% to 1,102.892 points while the MSE Corporate Bonds Total Return Index ended nearly unchanged, slipping 0.04% to 1,150.184 points.

Sources: Reuters, Malta Stock Exchange

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