|09-13-2014, 02:23 PM||#1|
U.S. stocks edge lower after retail sales data
U.S. stocks were mostly lower in early trading Friday, as investors found little solace from a rise in retail sales and consumer confidence
Sales at U.S. retailers rose the most in four months in August, boosting the outlook for stronger economic growth in the second half of the year.
Retail sales grew 0.6% last month, the most since April, auto sales rose 1.5%, the most since March, while July’s and June’s figures were revised upwards.
Investors were closely watching this week’s retail sales data, as the only major economic report released, and because it reflects the strength of consumer spending in the economy.
Another report released showed consumer confidence increased soundly above expectations. The University of Michigan’s preliminary reading on September came in at 84.6, beating expectations for 83.6 and up from 82.5 in August.
The economic outlook expectations index came in at 99 versus a reading of 88 for August. Both the consumer confidence and the economic expectations are at their highest levels since July 2013. The current conditions index came in at 98.5, down from 99.8 in August.
Investors are preparing their positions in case the Federal Reserve indicates any change in monetary policy as markets will become rowdy if the central bank decides to move into normalization of policy at a sooner time than expected.
Benchmark Treasury yields were soaring early Friday. 10-Year Treasury note yields were last up 4.3 basis points at 2.592%, the highest in over a month.
-The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.19% or 32.18 points to 17016.63
-The S&P 500 index fell 0.34% or 6.88 points to 1990.57
-The NASDAQ Composite Index fell 0.34% or 15.52 points to 4576.50 . As of 10:31 a.m. ET
European shares were mostly lower.
In company news, Darden Restaurants shares rose 2.6% after adjusted first-quarter results and sales exceeded Wall Street`s projections.
Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance shares climbed 16% after the retailer raised its outlook and reported growth in earnings and sales in the second quarter.
Alliance Data Systems Corp., which owns private-label credit cards and runs loyalty programs, said late Thursday it will buy Conversant for $35 a share in a deal valued at about $2.3 billion. Shares fell 2.5%.
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