NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are closing mostly lower after trading slightly higher for much of the day.
Earlier, investors were energized by a surprise gain in retail sales in July. That report provided evidence that American shoppers are still spending even as their counterparts in Europe and Asia slow down. U.S. retail sales rose in July by the largest amount in five months.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up three points at 13,172 Tuesday. It was up as much as 53 points at midday. The broader S&P 500 index lost a fraction of a point to 1,404 and the Nasdaq composite index fell six points to 3,017.
The number of declining stocks narrowly outpaced rising ones on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was very light at 2.9 billion shares.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)