By Peter Egwuatu
STOCKS on Wall Street ended the week higher as investors reacted to the latest retail sales and inflation data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 31 points to 22,871.72, and the S&P 500 edged up 2 points to 2,553.17.
The Nasdaq index finished the final day of the week up 14 points to 6,605.80.
The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 1.6% last month, with spending likely to have been lifted by demand for building materials and cars following hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Retail sales were also boosted by higher spending at service stations, reflecting higher fuel prices.
Stripping out sales of cars, fuel, building materials and food services, so-called core retail sales rose by 0.4%.
“Using the September numbers as a guide to holiday performance is challenging, not least because of the various exceptional factors which have impacted the month,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.
“However, stripping these out suggests that the consumer is in a good and stable position which bodes well for the critical upcoming trading period.”
Inflation figures from the Labor Department showed consumer prices rose 0.5% in September, while the year-on-year rate rose to 2.2%.
Shares in Wells Fargo slid 3% after its latest results. Third quarter net income fell 18% to $4.6bn after the bank took a $1bn charge to cover investigations into its mortgage underwriting practices before the 2008 financial crisis.