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Stocks open mostly higher as Wall Street digests data

U.S. equities opened mostly lower on Thursday as investors digested a slew of economic data points while worries over China largely subsided.

U.S. retail sales for July rose 0.6 percent, slightly above estimates, the Commerce Department said, boosted by auto sales. June's retail sales were also revised up to show them unchanged instead of the previously reported 0.3 percent drop, Reuters said.

"When you take out auto sales, it really wasn't [an increase]," said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. "We've had money coming into our pockets due to [lower] gasoline prices and we haven't spent it."

Ogg added the U.S. consumer has become more prudent since the recession and is only buying what he or she truly needs.

Weekly jobless claims came in at 274,000, slightly above a consensus estimate of 270,000, while import prices fell 0.9 percent amid lower oil...