Stocks Dawdle, but Rise on Week

Stocks finished flat Friday after investors digested mixed signals on the state of the nation’s consumers.

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Despite today’s meandering trading, the major averages managed to drift higher this week. The Dow added 0.6% since last Friday, while the S&P gained 1%. For the week, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.8%.

Dirk van Dijk, chief equity strategist at Zacks Investment Research, said the dearth of market-moving data during the week kept most stocks trading in a tight range.

“Earnings season is over, and there was really no significant economic data this week. You really had to hunt for things. Today’s retail sales report was probably the most important for the week,” van Dijk said. [Read the full article]
US stocks were flat on Friday in spite of surprisingly strong retail sales data and positive employment figures from Canada.

Retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in February, significantly beating expectations of a 0.2 per cent fall. Excluding cars, sales rose 0.8 per cent.

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US stocks were flat on Friday in spite of surprisingly strong retail sales data and positive employment figures from Canada.

Retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in February, significantly beating expectations of a 0.2 per cent fall. Excluding cars, sales rose 0.8 per cent.

You have viewed your allowance of free articles. If you wish to view more, click the button below. [Read the full article]

Mid and small cap stocks edged higher on Friday, with mid-sized companies posting their best winning streak in almost two decades, as investors focused on positive signs from the economy and better-than-expected results from some retailers.

For mid and small cap investors, an unexpected rise in February retail sales was enough to counter concerns about a slip in consumer confidence early this month.

“The sentiment index is based on what people say they are going to do, their feelings, as an investor I take it with a grain of salt,” said Edward P. Crotty chief investment officer at Davidson Investment Advisors in Great Falls, Montana. “In the quarter we saw clear evidence of things improving.”

Among retailers, Kirkland’s Inc (KIRK.O) reported a higher quarterly profit on strong customer traffic at its stores, and forecast a 5 to 8 percent rise in fiscal 2010 sales. [Read the full article]

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