Stocks Opened Higher after Upbeat Retail Report

U.S. stocks opened higher on Tuesday after the government reported retail sales hit a five-month high in Febuary. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 45.86 points to 13,005.57. The S&P 500 Index climbed 7.01 points to 1,378.10. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 19.61 points to 3,003.27.

Retail sales recorded their largest gain in five months in February as Americans snapped up motor vehicles and bought a range of goods even as they paid more for gasoline, government data showed on Tuesday. Total retail sales increased 1.1 percent, the Commerce Department said, after an upwardly revised 0.6 percent rise in January.

Platinum rallied for a fifth day in a row on Tuesday, its longest streak of gains since October, to push the price above that of gold for the first time in six months, while gold fell below $1,700 an ounce before a U.S. rate decision.

The Obama administration is bringing a new trade case against China that seeks to pressure the rising economic power to end its export restrictions on key materials used to manufacture hybrid car batteries, flat-screen televisions and other high-tech goods.

At least 50 advisers who managed nearly $12 billion in client assets at Merrill Lynch have left the “thundering herd” since January 1, based on moves tracked by Reuters.

The dollar touched an 11-month high against the yen and a one-month high against the euro on Tuesday, as a U.S. retail sales report left investors anticipating a recovering U.S. economy will keep the Federal Reserve from announcing fresh stimulus measures.

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