Reports on Retail Sales and Producer Prices

The stock market continues to tread water today. The S&P 500 is up slightly and the Dow is down slightly. We had two economic reports this morning. The first showed that retail sales increased by 0.6% last month. This was the second straight monthly gain, but the details showed that it wasn’t very strong. When you knock out the numbers for auto sales and gasoline, all other retail sales were down for the fourth month in a row.

The other news was the rise in wholesale prices. The June PPI rose by 1.8% which doubled Wall Street’s consensus. The core rate, which excludes food and energy, was up 0.5% compared with a consensus estimate of 0.1%. The major culprit was higher prices at the pump–gasoline prices jumped by 18.5%. Tomorrow, the government will report on consumer inflation for June.

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