Wall Street Wrap for 14 September 2010

Wall Street Wrap for 14 September 2010

Major US indices ended mixed on Tuesday. Markets were in the green earlier in the day, led by news on better-than-expected retail sales, but investors took a step back from the rally, after posting gains in 8 of the last 9 sessions.

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US retail sales increased 0.4% in August. Excluding auto sales, the gain was 0.6%, slightly better than what economists expected. With consumer spending making up 70% of the US economy, some analysts say the numbers need to be stronger. But the August figures are a good sign that Americans are starting to spend again.

In other economic news, business inventories rose 1% in July, the largest increase in 2 years, versus 0.5% rise in June. Economists say it’s too soon to tell if this is good news or bad news. While the increase in inventories could mean a better 3rd quarter GDP, it could also be that sales are not keeping pace with inventory, thus leading to a slow down in production and hiring.

And US gold futures hit a new intra-day high today rising to a record $1,276.50 an ounce before settling the day $1,271.70 an ounce - also a record, as investors looked to safe havens in an uncertain global economy. The dollar fell to a 15-year low against the Japanese yen, which could hurt Japan’s exports.

Oil futures for October delivery fell 39 cents to $76.80 a barrel. Asian markets ended mixed while European markets ended in the green. The yield on the 10-year bond fell to 2.67% from 2.76% late Monday.