RETAIL SALES RISE: The stock market started the day higher after the government reported that U.S. retail sales rose 0.8 percent in July, the largest amount in five months, as Americans spent more on cars, furniture and clothes.

DOW UP, S&P OFF: Stocks lost steam in late trading. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 2.71 points at 13,172.14, while the broader S&P 500 index lost 0.18 point to 1,403.93

BUSINESSES SLOW TO RESTOCK: U.S. companies barely increased their inventories in June. The slower restocking trend could act as a drag on overall economic growth. When businesses place fewer orders, factory production slows.