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Published on Feb 14, 2012
The major U.S. equity indices closed mixed Tuesday after being in the red for most of the day. The losses came early after a disappointing increase in retail sales which caused investors to worry about U.S. economic growth.
The Commerce Department reported Tuesday retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in the month of January, a slight improvement from a disappointing December. However, economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales climbing 0.7 percent last month. The slight increase does suggest consumers are becoming more confident about the economy. But, it could also mean that many are relying on credit as wages have not kept up with inflation.
In corporate news, talks between Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and China's Alibaba are on the rocks. The companies were planning to strike up a $17 billion tax-free asset swap, an attempt by Yahoo to turn its business around to appease shareholders. Currently, the plan will not move forward but some sources say Yahoo and its Asian partners could still strike up another, taxable deal.
And Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is working with component suppliers in Asia in order to test a new tablet computer with a smaller screen, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Unnamed officials at some Apple suppliers say the company has shown them designs for a new device with a screen size of about 8 inches, and say it is qualifying suppliers for it.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) closed 0.03% higher at 12,878.28, the S&P500 (S&P 500 INDEX,RTH) closed 0.09% lower at 1,350.50, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) closed 0.02% higher at 2,931.83.