US retail sales rise as gas prices go up and consumers buy more cars. But consumers wary about other purchases.
Investors hope an upcoming Federal Reserve meeting will lead to a jump in stock prices. The average of 30 large company stocks has already gained 1.8 percent to start September, a month which is usually dismal for stocks.
American GDP grew a tepid 1.7 percent in the second quarter, suggesting a weak winter ahead.
Dow reverses early losses and climbs 100 points after a letter from Ben Bernanke surfaces. The letter says the Federal Reserve has room to take more action to strengthen the economy.
After spending most of the day in negative territory, the S&P 500 rebounds to eke out a gain after the release of the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.
Stocks rise on positive Cisco earnings and a housing report that points to future growth. Wal-Mart and Facebook shares fall.
Housing market sees 1.1 percent drop in construction of homes, apartments. But building permits for new housing rise to four-year high.
Retail sales rise 0.8 percent in July, the most since February. Every major category of retail sales show improvement.
A report by the Commerce Department said retail sales rose in July, a sign that the economy could be improving.
The GDP figure of 1.5 percent for the second quarter puts President Obama on the defensive, but Democrats are playing up other findings in the report.