Nasdaq at new record as Dow dips on weak retail sales

NEW YORK (AFP) - The Dow and S&P 500 retreated from records on Friday (Aug 12) on disappointing US retail sales data, but the Nasdaq edged to a fresh all-time high.

US retail sales were flat in July at US$457.7 billion (S$615 billion), suggesting a key driver of the world's largest economy had plateaued by mid-summer.

But shares of visual computing company Nvidia jumped 5.6 per cent after reporting a 24 per cent rise in second-quarter sales to US$1.4 billion, thanks to strong growth in the video-gaming business.

The gains in Nvidia helped the Nasdaq finish up 0.1 per cent at 5,232.89, its second straight record.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.2 per cent at 18,576.47, while the broad-based S&P 500 dipped 0.1 per cent to 2,184.05.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba surged 7.1 per cent, its second major gain in a row following a big jump in first-quarter revenues. It also rose 5 per cent Thursday.

Yahoo, which owns a large stake in Alibaba, added 4.1 per cent.

Dow members ExxonMobil and Chevron gained 1.3 per cent and 0.8 respectively as oil prices rose.

But shares of commodities and chemical companies were under pressure. United States Steel slumped 7.1 per cent and Alcoa, Dow Chemical and Freeport-McMoRan all lost 2.4 per cent.

Nordstrom rose 8 per cent after reporting better-than-expected earnings and announcing a partnership with data-analysis firm Aimia to boost its customer loyalty programme.