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US stocks rise despite mixed economic data.

Summary: New York: US stocks on Friday scored modest gains despite a mediocre retail sales report ...

New York: US stocks on Friday scored modest gains despite a mediocre retail sales report and a disappointing read on consumer sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 75.42 (0.49 per cent) at 15,376.06. The broad-based S&P 500 put on 4.57 (0.27 per cent) at 1,687.99, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 6.22 (0.17 per cent) to 3,722.18. US retail sales, a closely watched benchmark of economic health, rose just 0.2 per cent in August, below the 0.4 per cent expected by analysts. Analysts also cited a disappointing 76.8 reading on consumer sentiment in September issued by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, down from the 82.1 reading in August. "If you look at most of the economic data, it is certainly less than expected," said Art Hogan, head of product strategy at Lazard Capital Markets. But Hogan said markets were also pricing in other factors, including an improved outlook on China and signs of a reduced chance of a US military strike on Syria. Dow component Intel vaulted 3.6 per cent higher after Jefferies upgraded the stock to "buy", citing its strong manufacturing capacities to make competitive and top-performing microprocessors. Beauty products giant Ulta surged 17.3 per cent after reporting strong quarterly gains in revenues and profits. Net income came in at $44.9 million, up from $35.0 million a year ago. Oil company Occidental fell 1.7 per cent on reports the company hopes to sell a minority stake in its Middle East operations for $8 billion. Supermarket chain Safeway shot up 6.1 per cent after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock to "outperform" in anticipation that the company will divest assets in some weaker-performing markets and bolster investments in stronger regions. Among larger companies, big moves were posted by Dow components Boeing (up 1.4 per cent) and Disney (up 1.8 per cent). On the Nasdaq, heavyweight Apple fell 1.7 per cent. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.90 per cent from 2.91 per cent, while the 30-year held steady at 3.85 per cent. Prices and yields move inversely.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Sep 14, 2013
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