Market Watch: Stocks Rise Despite Drop in Sales & More Consumer Caution


Markets were up today as JP Morgan’s earnings beat Wall Street’s predictions and an overseas rally in China followed some encouraging trade data. The Dow closed at a 5 month high and financial stocks led the way.

Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management explained today’s rally this way:

“Earnings and China seem to be outweighing soft retail sales. Near-term bias for stocks is to approach the upper end of a trading range, while the expectations are low and companies appear to be beating expectations.”

As referred to, today’s gains on the market came despite some data suggesting the contrary.

According to the Associated Press:

“U.S. retail sales fell last month as Americans cut back on their car purchases, the latest sign that consumers are reluctant to spend freely. The Commerce Department says sales at retail stores and restaurants fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in March, following a flat reading in February and a drop in January. Americans have been more cautious about spending this year than most economists expected, despite steady job gains and lower gas prices. That’s a key reason why analysts now think the economy barely expanded in the first quarter. March’s decline was largely driven by a sharp drop in auto sales, which plunged 2.1 percent. That was the steepest fall in more than a year. Sales at restaurants and clothing stores also retreated. In addition U.S. producer prices fell in March for the fifth time in the past eight months, reflecting a drop in food prices which offset the biggest increase in energy prices in 10 months. Even with the increase in energy, inflation remained at modest levels.”

See more from CNBC’s “Street Cred” below.

Here are the final numbers from Wednesday, 4/13/16 on Wall Street:

Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,908.28  (+187.03 / +1.06 %)

NASDAQ: 4.947.42  (+75.33 / +1.55 %)

S&P 500: 2,082.42 (+20.70 / +1.00 %)