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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tame Inflation Report Raises U.S. Investors' Optimism




NEW YORK -- Stocks opened moderately higher Wednesday after a tame inflation report raised investors' optimism that the Federal Reserve might not raise interest rates again this year to slow the U.S. economy.


In morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 31.02 at 1,1206.04.


That erased all of the Dow's 26-point loss Tuesday and lifted the blue-chip index to record high territory. Broader stock indicators were also mostly higher.


Stocks rose after the Labor Department reported the Producer Price Index - which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer - fell a smaller-than-expected 0.1 percent in June, the first decline in four months.


Also Wednesday, the Commerce Department said retail sales rose just 0.1 percent in June, a major slowdown from the May increase of 1.2 percent.


Another factor lifting stocks was more positive earnings news.


While stocks were higher Wednesday, there were some lingering concerns about Latin America's economic situation.


The nervousness was set off Monday by comments from Argentina's presidential candidates.


The candidates had hinted at a possible moratorium on repayment of the country's debt.


That raised concerns on Wall Street that U.S. financial services companies would suffer losses because of unpaid loans.


The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 2.89 at 1,396.45, and the Nasdaq composite index was up 14.78 at 2,793.01.


Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a narrow margin on the New York Stock Exchange.


Volume on the exchange came to 99.1 million shares, up slightly from Tuesday's early pace.


The NYSE composite index was up 1.36 at 655.00, and the American Stock Exchange composite index was down 1.95 at 810.38.