Mixed Close As Retail Sales Impress

The markets closed mixed with the Dow climbing 71 points to 12,921 as better than expected retail sales boosted blue chip stocks. Nasdaq fell 22 points to 2988.

On the upside

Reliance Steel & Aluminum (NYSE: RS) cited strong demand for lifting its first quarter earnings guidance.

Berkshire Hathaway announced on Friday that it now holds a 4% stake in St. Louis Post-Dispatch parent Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE).

USA Technologies (Nasdaq: USAT) reported preliminary third quarter results of higher revenue and the reversal of losses.

On the downside

Morgan Stanley downgraded Spreadtrum Communications (Nasdaq: SPRD) to an Equalweight rating.

Sprint (NYSE: S) will launch the Galaxy Nexus 4G LTE smartphone on Sunday, April 22, for $199.99 but the stock price fell.

Gannett (NYSE: GCI) disappointed with lower first quarter earnings as newspaper advertising continued to drop.

In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of more than 9 to 7 on the NYSE and by 10 to 9 on Nasdaq. The Russell 2000 which tracks small cap stocks added a point to 798.

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