US Stocks Rise as Investors Review Sales, Inflation Data

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks mostly rose in morning trading Wednesday on Wall Street as investors review the latest updates on retail sales, inflation and company earnings.

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% as of 10:13 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 9 points, or less than 0.1%, to 33,917 and the Nasdaq rose 1%. Trading has been unsteady so far this week following two solid weekly gains.

Technology stocks and a wide range of retailers led the gains. Apple rose 1.6% and Target rose 1.4%.

Treasury yields were lower after the government reported that Americans cut back on their spending more than anticipated last month, the second straight decline. The government also reported more encouraging inflation data. Wholesale prices rose 6.2% in December from a year earlier, a sixth straight slowdown for the measure of prices before they are passed along to consumers.

Wall Street has been hoping that easing inflation and a slowdown in economic growth might influence the Federal Reserve's position on interest rates. The central bank aggressively raised rates throughout 2022 in an effort to cool hot inflation, but that has hurt prices of stocks and bonds, and risks going too far and bringing on a recession.

The yield on the two-year Treasury, which tracks expectations for future Fed action, fell to 4.11% from about 4.16% just before the latest economic data was released. It was as high as 4.21% late Tuesday.

Investors are also reviewing the latest batch of corporate earnings to get more insight into how inflation and consumer spending are affecting profits and revenue. PNC Financial Services Group fell 4.8% after reporting weak earnings. United Airlines rose 0.4% after reporting strong financial results.

Markets in Europe and Asia were mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 2.5% after the Bank of Japan kept its loose monetary policy unchanged, dispelling speculation that it would yield to pressure and join other central banks in raising interest rates to fight inflation.