Shares of retailers and other consumer-services rose after a strong report from one major discounter mitigated fears that the bricks-amd-mortar retailers could no longer compete with digital giants. Target's same-store sales, a key measure of chain-store performance, rose for the first time in a year, suggesting a turnaround strategy focused on Web traffic and price cuts is meeting with success. The relatively strong retail-sales report for July was driven, in part, by an annual Amazon.com sale, according to one brokerage. "While we continue to expect steady growth in consumer spending to contribute to GDP growth in the third quarter, July's reading was in part boosted by a one-off event," said analysts at brokerage Nomura Securities, in a research note. Housing starts decreased 4.8% in July from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.155 million, the Commerce Department said, reflecting a slowdown in the construction of multifamily units rather than a change in demand.
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-Rob Curran, firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 16, 2017 16:38 ET (20:38 GMT)