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Market Update

Stocks Drift on Wall Street, Retail Sales Rise 0.1%

Author: Nichole Harper
Last Update: 1:35 AM ET February 13 2013

12:35 AM New York Market indexes on Wall Street drifted lower and the euro gained a fraction. Retail sales in December gained more than expected. Comcast agreed to acquire the remaining 49% stake in NBCUniversal in $16.7 billion deal.

Stocks in New York edged lower after early morning rise and retail sales increased surprising many economists.

Market indexes on Wall Street headed lower in the early afternoon trading. The S&P 500 index hugged the flat line and the Nasdaq barely managed to stay in the positive zone.

Markets in Europe closed higher after factory output increased in December and Bank of England said inflation is likely to stay above the target range and the recent market optimism is not supported by the economic data that the central bank is gathering.

In Asian trading, indexes in Japan edged lower after the yen inched higher policymakers of G7 nations sent conflicting signals about the recent weakness of the yen.

Retail Sales Increase 0.1%

U.S. retail sales increased 0.1% in January from the unrevised 0.5% in December, according to the latest data released by the Commerce Department.

Increase in payroll cost affected consumer spending and imported goods prices increased for the first time in three months on higher prices for fuels and building materials.

The index of imported prices increased 0.6% after falling 0.5% in December, according to the latest data released by the Labor Department.

Retail sales excluding autos increased 0.2% after rising 0.3% in December. Retail sales excluding autos, gasoline and building materials, the data used to calculate gross domestic product increased 0.1% in the month after rising 0.7% in the two previous months.

In the quarter to December, household purchases increased at 2.2% annual rate, an increase from 1.6% gain in the previous quarter.

Stocks in Review

Comcast said it will acquire General Electric Co.''s entire 49% stake in the NBCUniversal joint venture for approximately $16.7 billion and will take full control of a media conglomerate including NBC network and Universal Studios.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter.

Net income in the quarter surged 18% to $1.52 billion or 56 cents per diluted share compared to $1.29 billion or 47 cents a share a year ago.

Deere & Company (DE) slipped 1.4% or $1.34 to $92.60 after the agricultural and turf equipments maker said net income in the quarter surged 22% to $649.7 million or $1.65 per diluted share compared to $532.9 million or $1.30 a share a year ago period.

Deere said net sales for the quarter of the equipment operations were $6.793 billion and operating profit of $837 million.

The company expects equipment sales to increase about 6% for fiscal 2013 and rose about 4% for the second quarter from same periods of 2012. For the full year, net income is anticipated nearly $3.3 billion.

Lorillard, Inc. (LO) climbed 3.9% or $1.49 to $41.21 after the cigarettes maker said net income in the quarter slid 0.3% to $309 million or 80 cents per diluted share compared to $310 million or 77 cents a share a year ago.

Sources: Data collected by 123jump.com and Ticker.com from company press releases, filings and corporate websites. Market data: BATS Exchange. Inc