Stock move higher…Retail sales flat
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are off to a solid start on Wall Street, continuing yesterday’s bounce, but indexes are still on track for weekly losses after three days of drops early in the week. The S&P 500 rose 1.1% in early trading but is still down 1.8% for the week. Disney fell 4% after reporting lower revenue and missing forecasts for growth in subscriber additions to its video streaming service. Data from the Commerce Department showed Americans continued to spend money at retail establishments last month, but the pace of spending was a little slower than expected.
NEW YORK (AP) – Retail sales were flat in April after soaring in March, when many Americans received $1,400 stimulus checks that boosted spending. Today’s report from the U.S. Commerce Department was worse than the 0.8% rise Wall Street analysts had expected. But it wasn’t all bad: March’s number was revised upwards to 10.7%. Americans started receiving a third round of stimulus checks that month, helping retail sales soar. The question is whether consumers will continue to spend without stimulus checks.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. industrial production increased for a second straight month as more factories came online after being shut down by winter ice storms. The Federal Reserve says industrial production – which includes output at factories, mines and utilities – rose 0.7% in April. That’s down from an increase of 2.4% in March that was revised sharply higher from an initial estimate of a 1.4% rise. Manufacturing output climbed 0.4%, down from a strong 3.1% in March that was also revised higher.
UNDATED (AP) – Shortages at gas pumps are spreading from the South to the Mid-Atlantic states, where Virginia and the District of Columbia have become some of the hardest-hit areas following a cyberattack that led to the shutdown of the nation’s largest gasoline pipeline. The tracking service GasBuddy.com says 86% of gas stations were out of fuel today in Washington, D.C., more than half were out in Virginia, and 42% of Maryland stations were dry. A gas station owner in Virginia descried the situation there as “a frenzy” fueled by panic buying. A cyberattack struck Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline on May 7.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – The Coast Guard says a stretch of the Mississippi River has reopened to river traffic, three days after a crack was discovered in a bridge that connects Tennessee and Arkansas. River traffic under the Interstate 40 bridge near Memphis was shut down Tuesday after inspectors found a fracture in a steel beam on the span. More than 45 tugboats hauling about 700 barges had been idled along the river south and north of the bridge, waiting for clearance. The bridge remains closed to vehicle traffic.