Stocks Open Modestly Up on Retailer Earnings

U.S. stocks opened mostly higher on Wednesday as earnings from Target Corp. and Staples Inc. topped expectations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60.09 points to 11,466.02. The Standard & Poor’s 500 gained 8.28 points to 1,201.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.41 points to 2,529.86.

Target Corp. and Staples Inc. led retail stocks higher on Wednesday after both companies reported better-than-expected second-quarter profits and they also gave rosier full-year outlooks. Target Corp. said Wednesday that its fiscal second-quarter profit rose to $704 million, or $1.03 a share, from $679 million, or 92 cents a share, a year earlier.

Sales rose 5.1% to $15.9 billion. Staples reported Wednesday that fiscal second-quarter profit rose a better-than-expected 36%. The company also raised the low end of its full-year profit forecast.

Companies paid higher prices for tobacco, pickup trucks and pharmaceuticals in July, driving underlying wholesale inflation up by the most in six months. This measure of inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is known as the core Producer Price Index. It rose 0.4 percent in July, the biggest increase since January.

Producer prices rose 0.2% in July as a decline in energy costs didn’t immediately filter through the rest of the economy, according to government data released Wednesday.

Deere & Co.’s third-quarter net income jumped 15 percent and it boosted its outlook for the year Wednesday with global demand for its green and yellow equipment still strong. Deere generated $712.3 million, or $1.69 per share, in the quarter that ended July 31. That’s up from $617 million, or $1.44 per share, in the same period last year.





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