US STOCKS-Biotechs lift Wall St; Dow back in black for 2014

miércoles 13 de agosto de 2014 18:05 GYT

* Nasdaq Biotech Index up 2.1 pct

* Retail stocks slip after soft data, Macy's outlook

* 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 close with Dow back in positive territory for 2014 in paragraph 1, Dow's settlement figure in paragraph 11)

By Akane Otani

NEW YORK, Aug 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks ended higher on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average returning to positive territory for the year, 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 reported quarterly earnings that missed analysts' estimates and slashed its full-year same-store sales forecast, driving the stock down 5.5 percent to $56.47. [ID: nL4N0QJ4JG]

The selloff in Macy's stock, a bellwether for department stores, gave investors a reason to unload some shares of Kohl's Corp, down 1.5 percent at $55.11; Nordstrom Inc, down 0.9 percent at $68.12, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc, down 0.3 percent at $74.03. All are expected to report results on Thursday.

Although the weak retail sales 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.   Continuación...