Stocks mixed…Retail sales slip…Wholesale prices rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mixed in early trading on Wall Street. Technology companies are rising, while Boeing and other industrial companies are falling, along with banks. Utility companies and other high-dividend stocks are higher. Retailers are down after the Commerce Department said retail sales declined in February.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shoppers have opened 2018 with a cold spell after robust spending gains in the months leading up to the holidays. The Commerce Department says consumers spent less at auto dealers, gas stations and department stores in February, causing overall retail sales to slip 0.1 percent. But spending at online and catalog retailers climbed, as did spending at building materials stores, restaurants and clothiers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices rose 0.2 percent last month, as a pickup in services prices offset a drop in the cost of food and energy. The Labor Department says its producer price index was half January’s 0.4 percent gain. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, core wholesale inflation rose 0.2 percent for the third straight month.

DETROIT (AP) — Ford is recalling nearly 1.4 million midsize cars in North America because the steering wheel can detach from the steering column and drivers could lose control. The recall covers certain Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ cars from the 2014 through 2018 model years. Ford says it knows of two crashes and one injury caused by the problem. Dealers will replace the bolts with longer ones that have more aggressive threads and a nylon patch to stop them from coming loose.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Two days after President Donald Trump blocked Broadcom in its hostile takeover bid of U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm, the Singapore company is officially withdrawing its $117 billion bid. Broadcom said today it was disappointed as it withdrew its proposed candidates for the board at Qualcomm, but plans to move its headquarters to the U.S. will move forward.

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