U.S. stocks were little changed on Tuesday after disappointing earnings from electronics retailer Best Buy
August retail sales jumped 2.7 percent, topping economists' expectations of a 2.0 percent rise. Excluding autos, sales rose 1.1 percent versus the estimate of an 0.4 percent increase.
The August producer price index (PPI) gained 1.7 percent, due to the biggest climb in gasoline prices in 10 years, while economists looked for an 0.8 percent increase. Excluding volatile food and energy items, the PPI rose 0.2 percent, compared with the estimate of a 0.1 percent increase.
An uptick in consumer spending is seen as crucial for any economic recovery to continue.
Best Buy Co Inc reported second-quarter earnings that were shy of estimates, although the company raised its full-year outlook. The stock slipped 2.3 percent to $39.50.
Kroger Co slid 8 percent to $20.31 after posting second-quarter profit below estimates and trimmed its full-year outlook.
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It's a little bit of conflicting things going on. Best Buy misses the quarter but raises guidance, suggesting things are getting better the second half of the year. Then Kroger comes out and lays an egg, said Kevin Kruszenski, head of listed trading at KeyBanc Capital Markets in Cleveland.
It's still a minefield out there.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 5.89 points, or 0.06 percent, to 9,620.91. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 1.58 points, or 0.15 percent, to 1,047.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 2.74 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,094.52.
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A government report showed U.S. business inventories fell 1 percent in July, pushing the dollar amount to its lowest level since March 2006.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)