To further extend the string of good news, the Commerce Department stated that retail sales rose by 0.6% last month. This is the second straight month of increases and a good sign that the economy may be rebounding. The strength came from a price-driven surge at gasoline stations and a jump in automotive sales. Despite this uplifting news, the Retail HOLDRs (RTH) was down nearly 0.3% in morning trading.
Overall, all three major U.S. indexes are down in morning trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down nearly 0.2%, the S&P 500 is down about 0.1% and the Nasdaq has given up nearly 0.3%.
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Kevin Grewal contributed to this article.