Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Trim Gains After Retail Sales Growth Stalls

September 14, 2011

Sept. 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures trimmed gains after government data showed retail sales unexpectedly stalled last month, spurring concern over the strength of the economy.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December rose 0.6 percent to 1,172.3 at 8:31 a.m. in New York after rallying as much as 1.2 percent earlier.

Retail sales in the U.S. unexpectedly stagnated in August as a lack of jobs restrained shoppers. The unchanged reading followed a 0.3 percent gain for July that was smaller than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 83 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was a 0.2 percent rise.

U.S. stocks rose for a second day yesterday as French banks eased concerns over their access to funding and investors watched for signs of progress in taming Europe’s debt crisis.

Concern the global economy was slipping back into a recession amid a worsening sovereign-debt crisis triggered an 18 percent plunge in the S&P 500 between the end of April and Aug. 8. The index has rebounded 4.8 percent since then. Ten-year Treasury yields reached an all-time low of 1.877 percent on Sept. 12 and gold futures rallied to a record $1,923.70 an ounce on Sept. 6 as investors pursued assets considered to be the most safe.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at

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