Stocks Opened Higher on Inflation Data

U.S. stocks began higher on Friday after a report showed the cost of living held flat in November, bolstering the Federal Reserve’s take that inflation is not an issue now for the U.S. economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 50.48 points to 11,919.29. The S&P 500 added 8.77 points to 1,224.52. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 23.93 points to 2,564.94.

Consumer prices were flat in November as Americans paid less for cars and gasoline. The Labor Department said on Friday the Consumer Price Index was unchanged last month. Economists had expected an increase of 0.1 percent.

The government’s key measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index, showed prices hardly moved from October to November. And in the past 12 months, prices were up 3.4%, barely changed from a 3.5% annual inflation rate in October.

Zynga Inc. raised $1 billion in its initial public offering, pricing shares at the top of its marketed range. The developer of such popular games as CityVille, FarmVille, and Mafia Wars sold 100 million shares for $10 each. Zynga had offered the stock for $8.50 to $10 a share. It will start trading today on the Nasdaq under the symbol ZNGA.

Fitch Ratings, the third-biggest of the major credit rating agencies, on Thursday downgraded Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and five other large banks based in Europe and the United States, citing “increased challenges” in the financial markets.

Apple’s long-awaited iPhone 4S and Samsung Electronics’ fresh, broad offering are likely to stand out in this holiday season’s smartphone sales which will otherwise be clouded by global economic uncertainty.

Several brokerage firms trimmed their price targets on Research in Motion shares and questioned the BlackBerry maker’s ability to recover, after the company further delayed the release of its new line of smartphones.






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