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Stocks Mixed but Retail Sales Rebound, Sentiment Boost Spirits

Stocks traded mixed by midday Friday as a rebound in retail sales and positive consumer sentiment boosted Wall Street spirits.

The S&P 500 was down 0.16%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 0.22%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.23%.

Retail sales jumped 1.3% in April, the best reading in a year and above estimates for a 0.9% increase. Core sales, excluding autos and fuel, climbed 0.6%, double the expected increase. April's numbers were a welcome relief after signs the consumer had saved rather than spent in the beginning to the year.

"The tone of this report was unambiguously positive, and the sharp rebound in core spending activity was particularly encouraging, as it suggests that underlying spending momentum may be back on track after the inexplicable stutters earlier this year," Millan Mulraine, deputy chief U.S. macro strategist at TD Securities, wrote in a note. "For the [Federal Reserve], this report will be seen as very encouraging, though it is unlikely to be enough to keep the possibility of a June hike alive."

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