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US stocks mixed on upbeat retail sales

Jan 16 2013 07:53 AFP

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New York - US stocks closed mixed on Tuesday after the government reported better-than-expected retail sales in December.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27.57 points at 13,534.89.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 1.66 to 1,472.34. The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite fell 6.72 to 3,110.78.

"Traders were seemingly apathetic towards an upbeat retail sales report," Charles Schwab & Co. analysts said.

US retail sales in December rose 0.5% from the November level, the Commerce Department reported, suggesting solid consumer spending despite an ongoing debate in Washington over the fiscal cliff.

Facebook shares retreated 2.7% after the company unveiled a venture with Microsoft's Bing to incorporate search functions into the social network.

Apple fell by 3.2% in the wake of reports of weak demand for the company's latest iPhone.

Research in Motion, which had rallied in recent days in anticipation of the company's upcoming product launch, gave up 3.1% Tuesday.

Lululemon Athletica, which makes yoga clothing and other athletic attire, fell 3.9% after issuing guidance on financial results that disappointed analysts.

On the positive side, Dell surged 7.2% in the wake of reports that the company could become privately held.

Rival computer maker Hewlett-Packard fell 2.5%.

Also showing strength was security software company Symantec, which rose 4.7% following news reports that the company was seeing buying interest from private-equity firms in its Altiris program.

Ford, which publicised new designs at the Detroit auto show, rose 2.2%.

Arena Pharmaceuticals jumped 6.0%.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury fell to 1.83 from 1.86 late on Monday, while the yield on the 30-year US Treasury dropped to 3.02% from the 3.04%. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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