Wall Street mixed on retail sales, Caterpillar deal

07:46, November 16, 2010      

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Wall Street ended mixed on Monday as major indexes failed to hold gains on strong retail sales and Caterpillar's deal.

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Monday that retail sales rose 1.2 percent in October due to a big jump in auto demand. It was the fourth straight gain in retail sales, and doubled what analysts had expected.

The report showed gains across most categories. Motor vehicle and parts purchases surged 5.0 percent last month, after rising 1. 5 percent in September. Building materials and garden equipment sales rose 1.9 percent last month, the largest gain since April, after increasing 1.3 percent in September.

Core retail sales, which exclude autos, gasoline and building materials, rose 0.2 percent after a 0.4-percent increase in September.

Inventories increased 0.9 percent in September while business sales increased 0.5 percent, the Commerce Department said in another report. Continued strong gains in inventories and sales are seen as encouraging signs that the economic recovery will continue.

The increase was led by a 1.5-percent rise in inventories held by wholesalers. Inventories at the retail level rose 0.8 percent while manufacturing inventories increased 0.7 percent.

However, New York regional manufacturing index fell in November for the first time in more than a year.

Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest construction and mining equipment maker, said on Monday it has agreed to buy Bucyrus International Inc. for 7.6 billion U.S. dollars in cash, which is seen as the company's latest step to expand in emerging markets.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 9.39, or 0.08 percent, to 11,201.97. The Standard &Poor's 500 index was down 1.46 points, or 0.12 percent, to 1,197.75 and the Nasdaq declined 4.39 points, or 0.17 percent, to 2,513.82.

Crude prices were little changed after the retail sales report. Light, sweet crude for December delivery slipped 2 cents to settle at 84.86 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude rose 36 cents to 86.70 dollars a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Source: Xinhua


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