Economy

U.S. stocks rise ahead of inflation, retail sales data

U.S. stocks rise ahead of inflation, retail sales data

Pressuring the blue chip market was a more than 2 percent drop in shares of Boeing, Caterpillar and United Technologies.

European markets were higher today, with the Spanish Ibex Index rising 0.56 percent, STOXX Europe 600 Index gaining 0.37 percent and German DAX 30 index gaining 0.75 percent.

Half the S&P sectors finished lower, with industrials being the weakest performer, down 0.9 per cent.

The February jobs report, which came out on Friday, eased investors' minds, and stocks made their biggest gain in a month. More interest-rate hikes than the market expects could damp enthusiasm for stocks.

Investors will get a second indication of inflation this week, with an update on consumer prices due Tuesday.

ALL EYES ON TECH: Optical communications company Oclaro surged after it agreed to be bought by optical networking company Lumentum Holdings.

Several stocks were moving on deal news. Lumentum also rose $4.33, or 6.3 percent, to $73.30.

Japan ready to 'fully' back IAEA inspections in North Korea
Mattis was among the advisers in the White House on Thursday when Trump made a decision to accept Kim's offer to meet. Rodney Davis is skeptical about President Trump's chances for success when he meets with the North Korean leader.

Stocks were also driven higher on the news that President Trump was prepared to meet North Korea's Kim Jong Un sometime before May in what would be the first face-to face encounter between the countries' leaders and could mark a breakthrough in a stand-off over the North's nuclear weapons. Co-lead director Jeff Fettig will assume the executive chairman role at the company, now known as DowDuPont Inc. and soon to be broken apart. Shares of Biogen were down 2.2% while Pfizer fell 0.4%.

The Dow's overnight losses came after an nearly 2 per cent gain for Wall Street last Friday.

Sempra Energy (SRE) said Chief Executive Debra Reed will step down as CEO on May 1 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sempra-energy-ceo-debra-reed-to-step-down-after-7-years-in-the-role-2018-03-12), but will remain as executive chairman until she retires on December 1, 2018, after more than 40 years with the company.

Australian shares are expected to start the day flat, as concerns about imported metal tariffs and the potential for a trade war continue to drag down Wall Street.

Oil prices traded lower as Brent crude futures fell 0.61 percent to trade at $65.09 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures declined 0.50 percent to trade at $61.73 a barrel.

Many of the United States' big manufacturers have suffered since U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that could increase their costs while hampering sales overseas.