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US Stocks End Mostly Higher   08/16 16:07

   Another choppy day of trading on Wall Street ended Tuesday with a mostly 
higher finish for stocks that adds to the market's recent string of gains.

   (AP) -- Another choppy day of trading on Wall Street ended Tuesday with a 
mostly higher finish for stocks that adds to the market's recent string of 
gains.

   The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, its third straight gain. The Dow Jones Industrial 
Average rose 0.7%, extending its winning streak to a fifth day. The Nasdaq 
slipped 0.2%.

   Bond yields gained ground. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.81% 
from 2.79% late Monday.

   The market's latest gyrations came as traders cautiously reviewed mostly 
encouraging financial results from major retailers.

   Walmart jumped 5.1% and after the nation's largest retailer reported strong 
results that easily topped analysts' forecasts. Home Depot rose 4.1% after also 
reporting better-than-expected results. The gains from both companies did much 
of the heavy lifting for the Dow.

   Technology, health care and energy stocks fell, limiting the broader 
market's advance. Broadcom fell 1.3%, Moderna slid 5% for the biggest drop in 
the S&P 500 and Marathon Oil fell 1.1%.

   Retailers, consumer product makers and banks made solid gains.

   In all, the S&P 500 rose 8.06 points to 4,305.20. The Dow gained 239.57 
points to 34,152.01. The Nasdaq fell 25.50 points to 13,102.55.

   Smaller company stocks edged lower. The Russell 2000 slipped 0.82 points, or 
less than 0.1%, to 2,020.53.

   U.S. crude oil prices fell 3.2%. European markets ended broadly higher and 
Asian markets closed mixed overnight.

   Stocks had their best month in a year-and-a-half in July and the winning 
streak has been continuing into August partially on hopes that inflation is 
easing. The latest government report on consumer prices showed that inflation 
essentially stalled from June to July.

   Still, trading has been choppy, with major indexes swaying between gains and 
losses throughout each day.

   The bumpy trading reflects at least partly a surge in "dip buyers," or 
investors swooping in to buy stocks that have traded lower, said Randy 
Frederick, managing director of trading & derivatives at Charles Schwab.

   "The dip buyers were just absent in the first half of the year, and whenever 
they did step in they got spanked every time," he said. "That has changed now."

   Frederick points to momentum in the market right now.

   "Clearly the easier direction is to the upside at this point, but that 
doesn't mean we won't have another pullback," he said.

   The latest results from retailers show that spending remains solid, even as 
consumers face the hottest inflation in 40 years. Wall Street has been 
concerned that higher prices on everything from food to clothing could 
eventually stunt the economy's main engine of growth, consumer spending. 
Investors will get more updates on the retail sector this week, when Target 
reports its results on Wednesday.

   The Commerce Department releases its July retail sales report on Wednesday. 
Economists surveyed by FactSet expect modest 0.2% growth from June, when sales 
rose 1%.

   The retail reports are capping off the latest round of corporate earnings, 
which have been closely watched by investors trying to determine inflation's 
impact on businesses and consumers, while trying to gauge how Federal Reserve 
will react. The central bank is raising interest rates in an effort to slow 
down economic growth and rein in inflation, though it risks hitting the brakes 
too hard and veering the economy into a recession.

   Investors are looking for any signs that inflation is peaking or cooling in 
the hopes that the Fed could ease its aggressive rate hike policy. The central 
bank in July raised its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a point 
for a second straight time. On Wednesday, Wall Street will get more details on 
the process behind that decision when the Fed releases minutes from that 
meeting.

   Investors currently expect a half-point increase at the Fed's upcoming 
meeting in August, according to CME's FedWatch tool.

 
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