U.S. Markets Open Mixed Following Upbeat Retail Sales Data

Major indexes opened mixed on Friday, but better-than-expected retail sales give hope for the holiday shopping season.
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Major indexes opened mixed on Friday, but better-than-expected retail sales give hope for the holiday shopping season. Overall retail sales rose 0.3% in October. That's better than the expected 0.2% increase and it reverses previous month's 0.3% drop. Falling gasoline prices freed up money in people's wallets and they spent that spare cash on other things like electronics. When the volatile categories, such as autos and building materials, are stripped out, retail sales rose 0.5% in October. That's the biggest increase since August and above the estimated 0.4%. Retail sales account for a third of consumer spending. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Import Price Index fell to a seasonally adjusted -1.3%. The previous month's figure was revised down to -0.6%. The Import Price Index has been falling since July, but the market is not alarmed. The biggest reason for the drop is the softer energy price. Crude oil spot declined in October although it's rebounding on Friday from multi-year low. The stronger dollar is another reason for the slide.