Stocks Ended Higher on Retail Sales Data

U.S. stocks Pushed higher on Tuesday after a gauge of U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in December.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 115.92 points, or 0.71%, higher at 16,373.86. The S&P 500 closed 19.68 points, or 1.08%, higher at 1,838.88. The Nasdaq Composite added 69.71 points, or 1.69%, to 4,183.02

The U.S. Commerce Department said retail sales – excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials and food services – increased 0.7 percent last month after a 0.2 percent rise in November

The Federal Reserve’s promise last month to keep rates near zero until after unemployment falls to 6.5 percent was part of the horse-trading on policy that also resulted in a decision to begin paring the Fed’s bond-buying program, a top Fed official suggested on Tuesday.

Time Warner Cable Inc. rejected an acquisition offer from Charter Communications Inc. valued at more than $61 billion including debt, spurning the biggest unsolicited takeover bid since 2008.

Wells Fargo & Co posted a better-than-expected 11 percent jump in quarterly profit as it cut costs, but mortgage lending slowed to the lowest level in five years. The fourth-largest U.S. bank by assets said core lending grew by 6 percent.

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