North American stocks rose at the start of trading on Tuesday, ahead of an afternoon monetary policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve and after a report showing strong retail sales in February.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40 points or 0.3 per cent, to 13,000. The broader S&P 500 rose 6 points or 0.5 per cent, to 1,377. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 2 points, to 12,430.
U.S. retail sales rose 1.1 per cent last month, in line with expectations but nonetheless suggesting that consumers aren’t being thwarted by rising gasoline prices.
Economically sensitive stocks led the charge: Alcoa Inc. rose 1.5 per cent, Intel Corp. rose 1.2 per cent, JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 1.1 per cent and Walt Disney Co. rose 1 per cent.
Canadian stocks were held back by some commodity producers: Barrick Gold Corp. was relatively flat, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. fell 1 per cent and Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. fell 0.1 per cent.