NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A deluge of data kept Wall Street busy on Thursday with traders digesting manufacturing numbers coming from China and Europe and U.S. inflation figures. Flying under the radar, a string of positive earnings from retailers managed to pull markets higher even as the focus remained on data.
The S&P 500 recovered from its biggest drop in just over a month to trade around 0.11% higher, while the Nasdaq popped 0.29%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered around its flatline.
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Boosting markets, Best Buy (BBY) spiked 7.7% after earning an adjusted 32 cents a share in the third quarter, topping analysts' estimates of 25 cents. Lifestyle retailer Williams-Sonoma (WSM) surged nearly 10% after beating earnings estimates and reporting a 8.7% increase in comparable-store sales in its recent quarter.
Consumer price inflation was kept to a low in October as gasoline prices fell more than 3%. The Consumer Price Index was unchanged compared to a forecast 0.1% fall. "Core" CPI, which excludes volatile items such as energy and food, came in as expected at 0.2% compared to 0.1% a month earlier. The Nasdaq rose 0.11%
The latest reading could give the Federal Reserve pause as it mulls the return to normal monetary and interest rate policy. Over the past 12 months, prices have risen 1.7%, still below the Fed's annual 2% target rate.