Stocks edge higher as retailers rally
NEW YORK — Stocks edged higher on Wall Street in response to a rally in retail stocks that offset concerns about flaring tensions in Washington over increasing the country's borrowing limit.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day up 27.57 points at 13,534.89. The Dow moved higher in the late afternoon despite being down as much as 62 points in the early going.
The Standard and Poor's 500 rose 1.66 points to 1,472.34, a five-year high. The Nasdaq composite index, dragged down by a fall in Apple, fell 6.72 points to 3,110.78.
Retail stocks moved higher throughout the day, boosted by a report that showed retail sales increased in December, helping the major indexes reverse early losses.
Consumers bought more autos, furniture and clothing, despite worries about potential tax increases, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Sales rose 0.5 percent in December from November, slightly better than November's 0.4 percent increase and the best showing since September.
J.C. Penney rose 62 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $18.71. Dollar General gained $1.62, or 3.8 percent, to $44.64. Ford advanced 31 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $14.30.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders in a letter late Monday that the government will reach its borrowing limit as soon as mid-February, earlier than expected. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke commented on the issue Monday, saying it was one of the “critical fiscal watersheds” for the government in coming weeks.
President Obama has criticized congressional Republicans for linking talks over raising the debt ceiling to ongoing budget negotiations. Obama said the consequences of the government defaulting on its debt would be disastrous and shouldn't be used as a bargaining chip to extract concessions.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Finleyville maker of luxury kids’ structures learns from housing bust
- Treasury plans steps to curb tax inversions
- Sears leaving Century III after 3 decades in West Mifflin
- Coal gathering opens with dour assessment, political vitriol
- Existing home sales fall in August, snapping streak of gains
- Balancing gas pipeline expansion, environmental unease a problem in Pa.
- Hospitals turn to technology to tear down language barriers with patients
- Stocks slip on China growth jitters
- More companies embrace exchanges to curb health care costs
- Symposiums to spotlight Pittsburgh’s role as an energy powerhouse
- Retailers begin efforts early to woo holiday shoppers