U.S. Stocks Climb on Retail Rebound

By Amrith RamkumarFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Retailers lead U.S. stocks higher after Target earnings

-- Stocks little changed after Fed minutes show split over future rate

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U.S. stocks climbed Wednesday, supported by a bounceback in shares of retailers.

The moves extended a volatile stretch for the companies, many of which have been grappling with e-commerce competition and mixed earnings. Brick-and-mortar stores were among the worst performers in the S&P 500 a day earlier.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 25.88 points, or 0.1%, to 22024.87 in its fourth straight session of gains. The S&P 500 gained 3.50 points, or 0.1%, to 2468.11 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 12.10 points, or 0.2%, to 6345.11.

Target rose $1.96, or 3.6%, to $56.31, helping to lead retail shares higher after the company raised its full-year earnings outlook and reported same-store sales growth that outpaced analyst expectations in the most recent quarter. Gap, Best Buy and Dollar Tree were also among the S&P 500's best performers.

"Target really knocked it out of the park," said Chris Gaffney, president of EverBank World Markets. "All of a sudden, people are saying the consumers are showing some strength again," he said.

Urban Outfitters shares jumped 2.94, or 17%, to 19.76 -- their largest advance in almost five years -- after the retailer beat Wall Street's quarterly earnings and sales projections.

Home Depot propelled the Dow industrials higher, after the stock fell Tuesday even as the company raised its outlook for the second time this year. Shares rose 2.08, or 1.4%, to 152.25, adding roughly 14 points to the blue-chip index. Wal-Mart is scheduled to report earnings before the market opens Thursday.

Stocks were relatively steady after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting showed officials were split about the timing of future interest-rate increases, and two of President Donald Trump's councils of top business leaders disbanded.

Although the development could hurt expectations for the administration's policies to support large corporations, many investors were already skeptical that such changes would go through and boost markets, said Ian Winer, head of equities trading at Wedbush Securities.

"Investors are not reacting to this as if it's a big deal," he said.

Gold prices extended gains and the dollar fell after the Fed minutes showed some officials argued that weak inflation meant the central bank should hold off on raising rates.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 2.224% from 2.264% Tuesday. Yields fall as bond prices rise.

Gold for August delivery gained 0.3% to $1,276.90 an ounce. The WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against 16 others, fell 0.4%.

Elsewhere, the Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.7% in its third straight session of gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.9%, while the South Korean Kospi rose 0.6% as traders returned from a public holiday to catch up with the region's earlier gains.

--Justin Yang contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 16, 2017 17:21 ET (21:21 GMT)