Wall Street traded mixed in early trading Tuesday, after the U.S. government reported better-than-expected retail sales and wholesale prices data.
The U.S. Commerce Department posted that sales at U.S. retailers surged 2.7 percent in August, the most in three years, led by a jump in auto purchases as consumers took advantage of the government's "cash- for-clunkers" program. The reading exceeded the 2.0 percent increase economists had expected.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said wholesale prices in the U.S. rose more than twice as much as forecast in August, led by gasoline costs that have since partially receded. The 1.7 percent increase was the fourth gain in five months.
Investors also awaited a report on business inventories due at 10 a.m. EST.
The Dow Jones dipped 3.47 to 9,623.33. Broader indexes went mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 0.06 to 1,049.28 and the Nasdaq rose 0.24 to 2,092.02.