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Stocks mixed...Retail sales boost

Wednesday - 3/13/2013, 11:39am  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mixed in early trading on Wall Street after the government reported that U.S. retail sales rose at the fastest pace in five months. The Dow Jones industrial average in the early going was down 21 points at 14,427. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index fell three points to 1,549. The Nasdaq composite was off six points at 3,235.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says retail sales rose in February, even without the jump in gasoline prices. Americans spent at the fastest pace in five months last month, boosting retail spending 1.1 percent compared with January. About half the jump reflected higher gas prices, but even excluding gas purchases, retail sales rose 0.6 percent.

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected a proposal for the European Union's $1.3 trillion budget, saying it didn't address Parliament's main demands that more be spent on economic growth and that there be flexibility to move money within the budget. It's seen as another example of the lawmakers' newfound resolve to stand up to the union's national leaders. The plan was brokered at a summit of the 27 heads of state and government last month.

DETROIT (AP) -- Nissan is recalling five of its 2013 models in the U.S. because a faulty sensor can permanently turn off the front-seat passenger air bag. The recall covers the Altima midsize car, as well as the Leaf electric car, Pathfinder SUV and the Sentra compact. Also covered is the Infiniti JX35 SUV. The Altima is Nissan's top-selling car with 49,000 sold this year.

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union is considering beefed up measures for stranded passengers to get compensation and find quicker ways to get home. EU Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas says a new package with improved measures would also boost carriers from the 27 member nations in global competition since consumers would be drawn to companies offering the best conditions.


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