US stocks were little changed on Friday as investors assessed the number of positive economic reports. Retail sales increased more than expected and consumer sentiment was the highest since mid-2007.
Business inventories rose in September. The S&P 500 Index, the Dow Jones industrial Average and the Nasdaq were set to record modest gains in the week.
The Dow Jones industrials were nearing their record level after they logged their 25th record high on Thursday. The Nasdaq composite and the S&P 500 edged higher.
According to Market Watch, Jeff Kravetz, regional investment manager for US Bank Wealth Management said that markets are reflecting the existing conflicting signals.
Kravetz said, “On one hand, economic data lately have been friendly to equities, as most reports are positive. On the other hand, volatility in oil process and geopolitical risks are weighing on sentiment.”
Shares of Virgin America rose 30% in its initial public offering. The price rose to $29.64 from $6.64. Energy stocks climbed 0.6% with an increase in oil prices, revering the slump of Thursday. Benchmark US crude rose to $75.46 per barrel by $1.23 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Energy stocks had dropped 10% in three months as the price of crude dropped to lows of four years.
Hertz global holdings dropped 11% after it announced that it needed to restate its financial results for 2012 and 2013. The car-rental company dropped $2.42 to $20.31.
Nordstrom, high-end retailer, gained 1.6% or $1.16 to $74.42 after reporting earnings that beat the expectations of analysts.
ABC News reported that retail sales rose modestly in October, evidence that the recent gains in jobs and lower prices of gas are lifting the consumer spending as the season for holiday shopping begins.
The Commerce Department said that sales climbed 0.3% after dropping by the same margin in September.
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