US STOCKS-Wall St rallies, led by biotechs; retailers weak
* Retail stocks slip after soft economic data, Macy's outlook
* Nasdaq Biotech Index up 2.1 pct
* King, SeaWorld shares sink on weaker-than-expected revenue
* Dow up 0.6 pct; S&P 500 up 0.7 pct; Nasdaq up 1 pct (Updates to close)
By Akane Otani
NEW YORK, Aug 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday as surging biotech shares helped investors shrug off disappointing retail sales data.
Retail stocks capped the market's gains after Commerce Department data showed that U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, marking the weakest report since January. Macy's Inc quarterly earnings missed analysts' estimates and the department store operator slashed its full-year same-store sales forecast, driving the stock down 5.5 percent to $56.47. Other major retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc , are expected to report results on Thursday. Wal-Mart shares slipped 0.3 percent to $74.03.
Although the weak retail data pointed to some loss of momentum in the economy, the July reading could give the Federal Reserve more support to move slowly on raising interest rates, a situation that favors investors in equities.
"Investors seem to be looking past the retail numbers and seeing the silver lining, which is that the Fed could be less hawkish and keep interest rates down for longer," said Lawrence Glazer, managing partner at Mayflower Advisors in Boston. Continuación...