Desmoines News Desk

Stocks mixed on economy, earnings stew

Stocks mixed on economy, earnings stew

Stocks are seesawing Tuesday as investors try read a variety of economic and corporate tea leaves. As of 1:53 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average is up about 0.3% and over the 18,000 level. The S&P 500 is 0.1% higher, while the Nasdaq composite is down 0.4%. All three indexes were in the black shortly after the opening bell. They all then nosed into the red before heading of into separate directions as the day wore on.stock-market2.jpg2

Retail sales rose in March, the first monthly increase since November, boosted by stronger auto sales. American consumers’ increased spending boosted retail sales by a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in February. Wells Fargo reported first-quarter earnings of $5.8 billion, or $1.04 per share Tuesday. Analysts expected 98 cents per share. WFC is flopping about 1.5% on the news.

Going the other direction is fellow banking giant JPMorgan Chase, which reported strong sales and earnings growth despite the drag of persistently low interest rates and ongoing legal expenses tied to government probes. JPM is up in the 1.5% neighborhood.

European shares ended mostly lower, with Britain’s FTSE 100 gaining 0.2%, Germany’s DAX dropping 0.9% and France’s CAC 40 losing 0.7%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was flat and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.6%, amid a lack of fresh news to buoy market sentiments. Stocks fell Monday as investors looked ahead to the busy week of earnings and economic data.