U.S. stocks end narrowly mixed on confusing economic signals

08:42, July 15, 2010      

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Wall Street ended narrowly mixed after a six-day winning streak on Wednesday as strong corporate earnings and bearish economic reports provided confusing signals for the market.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was boosted by strong earnings from Intel, a bellwether whose results always set the tone for the whole sector.

The chip giant posted a 34-percent jump in revenue and issued an upbeat sales forecast after the closing bell on Tuesday, stating that "strong demand from corporate customers for our most advanced microprocessors helped Intel achieve the best quarter in the company's 42-year history."

However, a downbeat report on retail sales kept the gains in check.

According to the Commerce Department, U.S. retail sales dropped a second straight time in June, a sign that consumer spending is slowing. Data showed sales decreased 0.5 percent, more than analysts' expectation.

Further pressuring on the market, the Federal Reserve downgraded its growth outlook for the U.S. economy in its June meeting minutes, also noting the risks to the recovery had increased.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 3.70 points, or 0.04 percent, to 10,366.72. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dipped 0.17 points, or 0.02 percent, to 1,095.17, while the Nasdaq was up 7.81 points, or 0.35 percent, to 2,249.84.



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