Stocks Wavered after Economic Data

U.S. stocks wavered in a narrow range at the open on Wednesday,  as investors digested a batch of economic and earnings reports. The Dow Jones industrial average lately was down 6.37 points, or 0.05 percent, at 14,012.33. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 1.94 points, or 0.13 percent, at 1,521.37. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.35 points, or 0.20 percent, at 3,192.84.

Retail sales barely rose in January as tax increases and higher gasoline prices restrained spending, suggesting the economy got little help from the consumer at the start of the year. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales edged up 0.1 percent after an unrevised 0.5 percent rise in December.

Prices paid for goods imported into the U.S. increased 0.6% in January, led by fuel, close to analysts’ expectations of a 0.7% gain, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Wednesday.

President Barack Obama outlined an ambitious agenda in his State of the Union address Tuesday that included raising the minimum wage, increasing spending on infrastructure, attacking climate change and passing gun- control legislation.






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