Stocks Opened Mildly Higher after Data

U.S. stocks opened with modest gains on Friday after retail sales and wholesale inflation data did little to alter market expectations the Federal Reserve may begin to scale back its stimulus measures next week. The Dow Jones industrial average lately rose 48.73 points or 0.32 percent, to 15,349.37, the S&P 500 gained 3.37 points or 0.20 percent, to 1,686.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 5.02 points or 0.14 percent, to 3,720.99.

U.S. retail sales rose slightly in August despite strong demand for automobiles and other big-ticket items, the latest indication economic growth slowed in the third quarter. Retail sales increased 0.2 percent last month as Americans bought automobiles, furniture and electronics and appliances, the Commerce Department said.

U.S. producer prices rose in August as energy costs rebounded, but underlying inflation remained tame. The Labor Department said on Friday its seasonally adjusted producer price index increased 0.3 percent last month. Wholesale prices had been flat in July.

U.S. President Barack Obama will name former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Japan’s Nikkei newspaper said on Friday.

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