It's another flat day on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) up less than a point and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) up barely more than a point as of 3:25 p.m. EDT. The only macro news of note was a 1.1% rise in retail sales during February, which was slightly ahead of expectations. Higher gas prices eat up most of that gain, but even when you pull out gas costs, retail sales rose 0.6%, which isn't bad considering the higher payroll taxes in early 2013.
The better-than-expected retail sales haven't helped retailers on the market. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) is down a few cents, while Target is up 0.3% on the day. Wal-Mart in particular is under the microscope after a memo from a top executive was leaked to the media, indicating a weak February for the company. We'll have to wait and see how the first quarter goes, but for now it appears retailers are keeping their heads above water, even if they don't experience explosive growth.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) is actually down 0.2% after rumors of a $15 billion order from Ryanair began to circulate. It's telling that the stock is down on such positive news, because Boeing has been screaming higher on nothing but rumors for weeks. Investors have been buying every time there's speculation that the 787 aircraft is closer to test flights and an end to its grounding, which really shouldn't be driving the stock to new highs. A huge order, on the other hand, has the stock moving lower.
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Both gold and oil have moved 0.2% lower today. Oil is eating up more of consumers' dollars, but if non-energy retail sales can hold up in the face of high prices, the black gold will remain a hot commodity.