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Stocks Wobble After Downbeat Retail Sales -- US Commentary

U.S. stocks failed to hold early gains Wednesday morning as traders considered downbeat economic data and turnover in the Trump Administration.

The Nasdaq remains slightly positive, but the S&P and Dow Jones Industrial Average have slipped into negative territory.

Markets have turned skittish following the abrupt dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, an energy insider that was considered a moderate on the tariff issue.

Trump is reportedly fixated on issuing $60 billion in tariffs in Chinese goods, and wants to completely overhaul NAFTA in favor of the U.S.

In economic news, U.S. wholesale prices rose slightly in February, roughly in line with the tepid growth seen in consumer prices.

On a monthly basis, the producer price index that measures wholesale inflation was up 0.2% following January's 0.4% increase.

Retail sales were off 0.1 percent, disappointing economists looking for growth of 0.4 percent.

Stocks in play include Amazon, which is up 1 percent despite news the WalMart will expand its grocery deliveries to 100 cities.

Vera Bradley shares rallied after earnings and revenue beat consensus.

France plans legal action against Apple and Google for "unfair business practices."

Starboard directors pledge to buy $25 million of Newell Brands stock if the board is replaced.

Crude oil prices turned lower near $61 a barrel after the EIA reported a big jump in crude oil inventories.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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