Wall Street managed a small advance for a second straight session Tuesday after the government released benign inflation figures and a newspaper reported that General Motors is seeking health care concessions from the United Auto Workers.
Solid earnings from Best Buy and Lehman Brothers Holdings also supported the gains.
Investors who had waited anxiously for the Labor Department's inflation report were pleased by the 0.6 percent drop in the producer price index. Economists had forecast a decrease of 0.2 percent. But May retail sales data, reported by the Commerce Department, fell a disappointing 0.5 percent, more than the 0.2 percent analysts expected.
The mixed economic data indicate that the "Federal Reserve may continue to raise short-term interest rates at a measured pace, but they may pause periodically," said Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at Johnson Illington Advisors. "That's good news for the economy, for earnings and stock prices."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 25.01, or 0.2 percent, to 10,547.57. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index gained 3.09, or 0.3 percent, to 1203.91, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 0.08, nearly flat, to 2069.04.
Lehman Brothers rose $3, to $96.05, after the Wall Street firm said its results rose 12 percent on the strength of its investment banking and fixed-income trading. Its second-quarter earnings exceeded analysts' estimates.
General Motors gained $1.42, to $35.87, after the Detroit News reported that the struggling automaker was seeking benefit concessions from auto workers. Rival Ford Motor rose 30 cents, to $10.82, as it announced a spinoff and public stock offering of its Hertz auto rental subsidiary.
Invitrogen fell $3.05, to $76.98. The maker of chemical kits used to analyze and clone genes said it will sell as much as $300 million of convertible notes due in 2025. Existing holders' stakes may be diluted when the notes are converted.
Google, owner of the most-used Internet search engine, declined $4.40, to $278.35.
New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 22.12, to 7235.14.
American Stock Exchange index rose 0.88, to 1535.14.
Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 5.37, to 634.39.
NYSE: 1.32 billion shares, up from 1.27 billion on Monday. Advancers outnumbered decliners 7 to 4.
Nasdaq: 1.43 billion shares, down from 1.46 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 7 to 5.
Crude oil for July delivery: $55.00, down 62 cents.
Gold for current delivery: $427.50 a troy ounce, down from $429.30 on Monday.