Stocks close mostly flat after hot retail sales report: Stock market news October 18 | Yahoo Finance

Stocks closed mostly flat on Tuesday after retail sales data smashed expectations and earnings season picked up steam.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) hugged the flatline while contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) closed down 0.25%.

The 10-year Treasury yield soared more than 13 basis points to trade around 4.85%, the most since July 27. The 10-year yield hit a 16-year high of 4.89% on Oct. 6.

Retail sales rose 0.7% in September from the previous month, more than double Wall Street’s estimates for 0.3% growth, the latest data out Tuesday showed. The surprise reading reflects continued resilience in the American consumer despite predictions of a slowdown.

Earnings season is still in its early days, but there are already encouraging signs that corporate America could be seeing an end to the recent earnings recession. Tesla (TSLA) and Netflix (NFLX) lead out tech sector results on Wednesday, giving more insight into the toll taken from higher borrowing costs.

Oil prices steadied as the US intensified its diplomatic efforts and as hopes grew that the US will ease sanctions on producer Venezuela. Crude oil (CL=F) settled above $86 a barrel, while Brent crude (BZ=F) settled at just under $90 a barrel.

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