) -- Stockpiles maintained by wholesale dealers slid in December, snapping two-straight months of wholesale inventory build ups and hinting that economic recovery remains sluggish and insecure.
Firms pared down wholesale inventory levels by a seasonally adjusted 0.8% in December, according to a Commerce Department report released Tuesday. The fall was unexpected, as market observers had anticipated wholesale inventories to rise by 0.5%, according to a consensus forecast from Briefing.com. The slide is also in stark contrast to a November surge that saw inventories soar 1.6%.
Since last year, inventories have fallen by 10.2%.
The report also noted that sales at the wholesale level rose 0.8% and increased 5.7% since December 2008.
Stocks maintained their gains after the report's release. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was rising 141 points, or 1.4%, to 10,050. The
was 13 points higher, or 1.3%, to 1070.
-- Written by Sung Moss in New York