Stocks Mixed After Strong Retail Sales

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Although the Dow has been higher in early trading, other stock indexes are lower so far today.

A strong report on retail sales isn't pushing aside worries about the economy. The government reported before the market opened that retail sales rose 0.8 percent in March -- a sign that consumers aren't being sidelined by surging gasoline prices.

U.S. companies restocked at a steady pace in February, suggesting businesses are more hopeful about sales.

The Commerce Department says business stockpiles rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent. That's below January's upwardly revised gain of 0.8 percent.

There's also word today that the outlook among U.S. homebuilders dimmed in April after six months of rising or steady confidence. The decline suggests the housing market remains weak despite modest gains.

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