Stocks fell on Tuesday morning as strong retail sales data again raised the likelihood of a Fed rate hike in December. The Commerce Department said that U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% from the prior month in September, down slightly from 0.8% in August but well above the Reuters consensus forecast of 0.3% growth. Core retail sales, excluding automobiles, gasoline, building materials, and food services, rose 0.6%, up from 0.2% in August. Manufacturing data for September was also stronger than expected. The Federal Reserve said that U.S. manufacturing output rose 0.4% last month, above the consensus of 0.1% growth. On the earnings front, Bank of America posted 10% profit growth in 3Q, helped by higher net interest income, while Goldman Sachs reported a sharp decline in earnings, hurt by write-downs in its consumer lending and real estate businesses. The Dow fell 0.1%, the S&P 0.2%, and the Nasdaq 0.4%. Crude oil rose to $87 per barrel, while gold traded near $1940 per ounce.
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