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U.S stocks fall on retail data but end week higher; Dow ends flat

Published 04/12/2013, 04:22 PM
Updated 04/12/2013, 04:23 PM - Weaker-than-expected retail sales and consumer-sentiment data sent U.S. stocks falling on Friday though equities did finish the week up on the upswing.

At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished largely flat, the S&P 500 index fell 0.28%, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.16%.

Earlier Friday, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary consumer sentiment index dropped to a 9-month low in April, falling to 72.3 from 78.6 in the previous month.

Analysts were expecting the index to tick down to 78.5 this month.

Elsewhere, official data revealed that retail sales in the U.S. fell 0.4% in March, defying expectations for a 0.1% rise after a 1% increase the previous month.

Core retail sales, which are stripped of volatile automobile sales, also dipped 0.4% last month after a 1% increase in February, missing similar expectations for a 0.1% rise.

Consumer spending drives about 70% of the U.S. economy, and the softer-than-expected data sent stocks falling.

Hopes for a gradual improvement in economic indicators and upcoming quarterly earnings allowed stocks to trim earlier losses, especially as the day's trading came to a close.

Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Home Depot, up 2.43%, McDonald's, up 1.57%, and Wal-Mart Stores, up 0.98%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Alcoa, down 1.20%, DuPont, down 0.93%, and Bank of America, down 0.90%.

European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.

After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 1.53%, France's CAC 40 fell 1.23%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished down 1.61%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 fell 0.49%.


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