* Retail stocks slip after soft economic data, Macy's
* Amazon boosts Nasdaq after introducing card device
* Dow up 0.5 pct; S&P 500 up 0.7 pct; Nasdaq up 0.9 pct
(Updates to midday)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Aug 13 U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday,
with the Dow returning to positive territory for the year as
signs of easing tensions in Ukraine overshadowed weak readings
on consumer spending.
The day's gains were broad, with all 10 primary S&P 500
sector indexes gaining. About 71 percent of stocks traded on the
New York Stock Exchange were higher for the day, while more than
60 percent of Nasdaq-listed names rose.
Wall Street has been largely driven by the news flow from
abroad, and signs of progress in Ukraine were enough to offset
some cautious signals in the United States, including a
disappointing reading on July retail sales and a reduction in
With the day's advance, the S&P 500 is 2.1 percent below its
record closing high reached in late July. Throughout 2014,
investors have been using market pullbacks as opportunities to
add to their positions.
"The market seems comfortable with what's going on abroad,
and while there's always a risk of escalation, which would give
the market pause, trying to anticipate that is pure
speculation," said David Lebovitz, global market strategist at
J.P. Morgan Funds in New York.
"Focusing on fundamentals has us viewing any weakness as a
Poland's foreign minister said the threat of Russia invading
Ukraine had receded amid reports that a Russian aid convoy would
cross the Ukraine border under the aegis of the Red Cross.
Still, Ukraine said the convoy would not be allowed to pass.
Russia's dollar-denominated RTS index rose 1.8
percent. The Market Vectors Russia Exchange-Traded Fund
was up 1.9 percent at $24.46.
Online retailer Amazon.com Inc also lifted the
market. Amazon's stock shot up 2.6 percent to $327.49 after the
company unveiled a $10 credit-card reader and mobile app for
brick-and-mortar businesses, marking its latest step to expand
its presence in the physical world.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 89.88 points or
0.54 percent, to 16,650.42. The S&P 500 gained 12.71
points or 0.66 percent, to 1,946.46. The Nasdaq Composite
added 38.74 points or 0.88 percent, to 4,427.99.
Retail stocks were among the weakest of the day after Macy's
Inc cut its full-year same-store sales forecast, sending
its stock down 5.8 percent to $56.32. Macy's was the S&P 500's
biggest percentage decliner. In another weak reading on consumer
spending, the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail
sales unexpectedly stalled in
Kohl's Corp shares lost 1.8 percent to $54.90, while
Nordstrom Inc declined 1.2 percent to $67.85. Both names
are slated to report results on Thursday.
The stocks of both King Digital Entertainment Plc
and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc suffered their biggest
one-day decline ever after the companies reported
weaker-than-expected revenue. King, the maker of the video game
"Candy Crush Saga," plummeted 23 percent to $14.02, while
SeaWorld sank 33.6 percent to $18.72.
(Editing by Jan Paschal)