US stocks end mixed as investors focus on COVID-19 aid. Image Source: IANS News

New York, Oct 17 : US stocks closed mixed as investors pored through the nation's monthly retail sales data.

On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 112.11 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 28,606.31. The S&P 500 was up 0.47 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 3,483.81. The Nasdaq Composite Index decreased 42.32 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 11,671.56, Xinhua news agency reported.

Seven of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors finished higher, with utilities up 1.08 per cent, leading the advancers. Energy dipped 2.3 per cent, the worst-performing group.

US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher, with eight of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

The moves came after data showed US retail sales rose more than expected last month.

US retail sales climbed 1.9 per cent in September, the Department of Commerce reported on Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 1.2 per cent increase.

"There's a lot of healing in that chart, but the healing process has slowed," Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note, adding "there is still obvious damage in the economy." On Thursday, Wall Street's major averages suffered their third straight day of losses, their longest losing streak in nearly a month, as investors fretted over the uncertain fate of a US coronavirus stimulus bill.

"Market volatility is set to continue in the weeks ahead as investors brace for a host of uncertainties, including the timing of vaccine availability, the size and timing of additional US fiscal stimulus, and the election outcome," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

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