US Stocks Rise; Strong Retail Sales 05/17 11:03

US Stocks Rise; Strong Retail Sales    05/17 11:03

   Stocks rose in morning trading on Wall Street Tuesday as investors review an 
encouraging report on retail sales and a mixed batch of earnings updates from 
several big retailers.

   NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks rose in morning trading on Wall Street Tuesday as 
investors review an encouraging report on retail sales and a mixed batch of 
earnings updates from several big retailers.

   The S&P 500 rose 1.2% as of 10:27 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial 
Average rose 237 points, or 0.7%, to 32,460 and the Nasdaq rose 1.6%.

   The highly volatile technology sector led the gains. Apple rose 1.5% and 
Microsoft rose 1.2%. Pricey stock values for many big technology companies give 
the sector more weight in pushing the broader market up and down.

   The gains were broad and included retailers, health care companies and 
industrial firms. Amazon rose 1.2%. Abbott Laboratories rose 4.2% after the 
company made a deal with regulators to ramp up production of baby formula amid 
a shortage.

   Banks gained ground along with rising bond yields, which they rely on to 
charge more lucrative interest on loans. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose 
to 2.95% from 2.88% late Monday. JPMorgan Chase rose 3.2%.

   The solid gains on Tuesday come as the broader market struggles to break a 
six-week long slump.

   The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.9% in April. The solid 
increase was driven by higher sales of cars, electronics, and at more spending 
at restaurants. The upbeat report helps allay some concerns on Wall Street 
about persistently high inflation crimping consumer spending.

   Inflation is at a four-decade high, driven by demand for goods outpacing 
supplies in the aftermath of the pandemic. Supply chain problems have prompted 
businesses to raise prices on everything from food to clothing. Rising energy 
prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine worsened pressure from inflation, 
as did China's strict lockdown measures over the last month as it faces a 
resurgence of COVID-19 cases in major cities.

   Walmart, the nation's largest retailer, fell 8.7% after reporting 
disappointing earnings and trimming its profit forecast for the year, partly 
because of inflation pressures.

   Central banks have been shifting policies to help fight inflation. The 
Federal Reserve is gradually pushing its benchmark short-term interest rate off 
its record low near zero, where it spent most of the pandemic. Investors are 
concerned that the central bank could cause a recession if it raises rates too 
high or too quickly and are watching for comments by Fed officials that might 
provide insight into the U.S. economic outlook and future policy moves.

    

    

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