Wall Street meanders higher to cap strong week

Stocks in New York crept higher today, putting the S&P on course for its best weekly performance in two months.

All three major US stock index benchmarks moved higher today, as we head toward the close of a week in which the US stock market has shown remarkable strength.

In the last hour of trading in New York, the Dow was up 0.45% or 68 points at 15,368, the S&P 500 advanced 0.21% to 1687.0 and the NASDAQ 100 nudged into positive territory, despite Apple’s share price sliding once again, after Jeffries cut its price target for the company.

Data released today showed that August retail sales grew 0.2% and September consumer sentiment fell from the level gauged in August. Both of these results were worse than forecast, which sets us up nicely for next week’s FOMC meeting. Some kind of taper is still widely expected, but the softness of recent economic data may turn the outcome of the policy meeting into a bit of nail-biter.

We still have a few significant economic reports to squeeze in before the outcome of the Fed meeting is announced though, with the Empire State manufacturing survey and industrial production numbers on Monday and CPI data on Tuesday.

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