NEW YORK (August 14, 2012)—Investors were energized early in the day Tuesday by a surprise gain in retail sales in July, which provided evidence that American shoppers are still spending even as their counterparts in Europe and Asia slow down.
U.S. retail sales rose in July by the largest amount in five months.
But as the day went on, the market lost some steam.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up three points at 13,172 Tuesday after going up as much as 53 points at midday.
The broader S&P 500 index lost a fraction of a point to close at 1,404 and the Nasdaq composite index fell six points to close at 3,017.
The number of declining stocks narrowly outpaced rising ones on the New York Stock Exchange where volume was very light at 2.9 billion shares.