Stocks Gain on Retail Sales

U.S. stocks closed a see-saw trading day with moderate gains  on Tuesday as  better U.S. data on retail sales and regional manufacturing offset worries from jumping European sovereign debt yields. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 17.18 points, or 0.14%, to 12,096.16. The S&P 500 gained 6.03 points, or 0.48%, to 1,257.81. The Nasdaq Composite added 28.98 points, or 1.09%, to 2,686.20.

U.S. consumers spent more money at online stores such as Amazon and electronics and appliance stores such as Best Buy, as retail sales rose sharply for the second straight month. Sales at U.S retailers increased a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in October, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

A gauge of manufacturing in New York state rose in November, ending five straight months of contraction, while the outlook for coming months strengthened, the New York Federal Reserve said in a report on Tuesday. The New York Fed’s “Empire State” general business conditions index rose to 0.61, marking the first time the index has been in positive territory since May and up from minus 8.48 the month before.

Dell Inc. on Tuesday reported a fiscal third-quarter profit of $893 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with a profit of $822 million, or 42 cents a share, for the year -earlier period. Revenue was $15.4 billion, flat from the previous year.

Crude-oil futures closed above $99 a barrel Tuesday. Crude for December delivery  rose $1.23, or 1.3%, to settle at $99.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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