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US stocks are little changed in early trading

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STEVE ROTHWELL | July 15, 2013 10:23 AM EST | AP

NEW YORK — Stocks were little changed in early trading on Wall Street as the Standard & Poor's 500 index came off its best week since January.

The S&P 500 surged 3 percent last week and reached another record high on Friday, bouncing back from a slump in June on concern that the Federal Reserve was poised to start easing back on its stimulus to the economy. The central bank is currently buying $85 billion of bonds a month to keep interest rates low and to encourage borrowing and hiring.

A closely watched report on U.S. retail sales Monday morning had some disappointments for investors. Americans spent more at retail businesses in June, buying more cars and trucks, furniture and clothes, but they cut back on many other purchases, a mixed sign for economic growth. Retail sales rose just 0.4 percent from May, less than analysts had forecast and less than the 0.5 percent increase the previous month.

Stocks fluctuated between small losses and gains in the early going.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 7 points, less than 0.1 percent, to 15,470 as of 10:15 a.m. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was little changed at 1,680 and the Nasdaq Composite fell a point to 3,598.

In commodities trading, the price of oil fell 18 cents to $105.79 a barrel. Gold rose $4.50, or 0.35 percent, to $1,282.20 an ounce.

In government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.56 from 2.58 percent Friday. The yield, which moves inversely to its price, was trading at 2.64 percent shortly before the report on retail sales was released at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Among stocks making big moves:

_ Leap Wireless soared $9.17, or 115 percent, to $17.15 after the carrier agreed to be acquired by AT&T for $1.19 billion, or $15 a share. The deal was announced late Friday. AT&T fell 22 cents, or 0.6 percent, $35.59.

_ Citigroup rose 64 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $51.46 after the bank reported earnings that beat analyst's expectations for the second quarter as investment banking profits surged.

_ Boeing rose $2.18, or 2 percent, or $104.04 after an analysts at Sterne Agee recommended buying the stock. Boeing slumped 2 percent Friday following a fire on an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 parked at London's Heathrow airport.