By Dow Jones Business News, September 13, 2013, 10:08:00 AM EDT
--Stock edge higher
--Europe slips, Asia mixed, as investors digest weekly gains
--Retail sales rise less than expected; wholesale prices tick higher on gasoline costs
By Matt Jarzemsky
Stocks edged higher following a weaker-than-expected retail sales report, as investors weighed the odds of the Federal
Reserve reducing its monetary-stimulus program next week.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39 points, or 0.3%, to 15340 in the minutes after the opening bell.
The S&P 500-stock index added two points, or 0.1%, at 1686, after snapping a seven-session streak of daily gains
Thursday. The Nasdaq Composite Index ticked up five points, or 0.1%, to 3721.
U.S. consumers spent more cautiously in August, with retail sales rising 0.2%, less than the 0.5% economists
projected. U.S. wholesale prices, a measure of inflation, increased 0.3% on higher gasoline costs, slightly more than
economists expected. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, prices were flat.
"The numbers were a little soft but not soft enough to cause a panic," said Todd Colvin, senior vice president at R.J.
O'Brien & Associates, a Chicago futures brokerage. "Equities are going to remain very popular because people have made
money in equities."
Investors are awaiting next week's meeting of the Federal Reserve's policy-setting committee, in which 66% of 47
economists in a Wall Street Journal poll expect the central bank to say it will begin cutting back its monetary
A preliminary reading of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer-sentiment index for September, due out at
9:55 a.m. EDT, is expected to slip to 81.8 from August's final reading of 82.1. At 10 a.m., business inventories for
July are forecast to edge up 0.2% on the month.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 2.938% from 2.907% late Thursday.
October crude-oil futures fell 0.9% to $107.67 a barrel, as investors' anxiety over imminent military action in Syria
continued to wane. September gold futures lost 1% to $1,316.80 an ounce. The dollar was up slightly against the yen and
European markets were little changed, with the Stoxx Europe 600 virtually unchanged just below five-year highs reached
earlier this week.
Asian markets also paused following strong gains in the week. China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.9%, while Japan's
Nikkei Stock Average inched up 0.1%--but gained 4.5% and 3.9%, respectively, this week.
Intel rose 2.4% after Jefferies raised its investment rating on the semiconductor giant to "buy" from "hold," citing
expectations of share gains in lower-priced tablets, PCs and handsets.
Safeway gained 5.7% after Credit Suisse analysts raised their rating on the grocery chain to "outperform" from "
Write to Matt Jarzemsky at firstname.lastname@example.org
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