Stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) were mixed this morning after the Labor Department reported that producer prices in November surged by a higher-than-expected 1.8%.

The 1.8% rise in inflation at the wholesale level was more than double what economists had expected. The price jump reflects a surge in energy prices, such as jet fuel, and other products, reported Martin Crutsinger for the Associated Press.

Over the past 12 months, wholesale prices rose 2.4% – the biggest gain over an annual period since October 2008. Core inflation (excluding food and energy) rose 0.5%, the biggest increase in more than a year. (For more stories on inflation and ETFs, please see our inflation category).

In a positive economic development, the Federal Reserve said today that U.S. industrial production rose by 0.8% in November, the biggest rise in three months. This number shows that the world’s largest economy is gaining speed heading into 2010, reports Bob Willis for Bloomberg. Capacity utilization, which measures the proportion of plants in use, increased to 71.3% last month from 70.6% in October.

The stronger-than-expected economic data has sent Treasuries lower and the dollar higher, report Rita Nazareth and Justin Carrigan for Bloomberg.

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