BCN-34 US stocks gain after strong March retail sales

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BCN-34

US-STOCKS-MARKETS-OPEN

US stocks gain after strong March retail sales

NEW YORK, April 18, 2019 (BSS/AFP) – Wall Street stocks rose early Thursday
following strong US retail sales data and a batch of mostly positive earnings
reports.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.5
percent at 26,567.86.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.2 percent at 2,905.20, while the tech-rich
Nasdaq Composite Index edged up less than 0.1 percent to 7,997.14.

US retail sales rose 1.6 percent in March to $514.1 billion, thanks in part
to especially robust auto sales. Analysts had expected an increase of 0.9
percent.

A wide range of companies reported first quarter results, with American
Express, Travelers and Honeywell International all rising, while Alcoa
retreated after its earnings.

Investor attention was also focused on the impending release Special
Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russian
interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

The Mueller report “should make for some interesting news but it’s unlikely
to be a material trading catalyst,” said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare.

BSS/AFP/SR/1845 HRS