US STOCKS-Wall St mixed after strong retail sales data, conflicting trade reports

Shutterstock photo

* Walmart gains after Q2 comp sales beat

* Cisco tumbles after forecast disappoints

* U.S. retail sales surge in July in boost to economy

By Amy Caren Daniel

Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks swung between gains andlosses on Thursday as strong July retail sales and upbeatWalmart earnings eased fears of a recession, but mixed reportson trade and Cisco's dismal forecast kept investors on edge.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.7% in July,well above expectations of a 0.3% rise, as consumers bought arange of goods even as they cut back on motor vehicle purchases. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nLNSFJEF8Y

"Data still indicates that the consumer is in a relativelygood shape, it points to the fact that even with an invertedyield curve that we saw yesterday, a recession is not coming sofast," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview AssetManagement in Chicago.

"The trade news is not linear. It's very hard to guess whatthe next step is going to be and it's impacting companies likeCisco, so the longer the trade issue lingers, the harder it isgoing be for companies to show top- and bottom-line growth."

Wall Street's main indexes slumped 3% on Wednesday, with theblue-chip Dow index .DJI recording its worst day this year, asrecession fears gripped the market after the U.S. Treasury yieldcurve inverted for the first time in 12 years. US/

Walmart IncWMT.N shares rose 5% after the retailerreported second-quarter U.S. comparable sales that beatestimates and boosted its earnings forecast for the year. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N25B082

The company's strong report lifted the consumer staplessector .SPLRCS up 1.2%, the most among the S&P sectors.

In contrast, Cisco Systems IncCSCO.O dropped 7.6% and wasthe biggest drag on all three major indexes, after the Dowcomponent blamed the bruising U.S.-China trade war for poorquarterly forecasts. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N25A4WK

Trade worries have plagued financial markets for at least ayear, fuelling fears of a recession and prompting traders toraise their bets on three rate cuts this year, including one inSeptember.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX is now about 6% away from itsall-time high hit in July.

China's finance ministry said earlier in the day that itwould retaliate to the latest U.S. tariffs. However, aspokeswoman for the ministry later said, "We hope the U.S. willmeet China halfway, and implement the consensus of the two headsof the two countries in Osaka." urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nB9N24U017

At 11:00 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 20.21 points, or 0.08%, at 25,499.63 and the S&P 500 .SPX was up 5.98 points, or 0.21%, at 2,846.58. The NasdaqComposite .IXIC was down 1.39 points, or 0.02%, at 7,772.55.

General ElectricGE.N plunged 9.9%, and was on pace topost its biggest one-day drop in a decade, after a whistleblowerin the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme case alleged that companyfinancial filings masked the depths of its problems. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N25B2NU

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.44-to-1 ratioon the NYSE and by a 1.09-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded five new 52-week highs and 43 newlows, while the Nasdaq recorded 13 new highs and 163 new lows. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Arjun Panchadar inBengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva) ((Amy.CarenDaniel@thomsonreuters.com ; within U.S.+1-646-223-8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 9250 ; ReutersMessaging: Amy.CarenDaniel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

This article appears in: Stocks , World Markets , Politics
Referenced Symbols: CSCO ,

More from Reuters


See Reuters News

Research Brokers before you trade

Want to trade FX?