Investors look for safety after weak retail sales report NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are mixed Wednesday morning as investors look for safety following a drop in retail sales last month. The Nasdaq isn't far from the record it set last week, but it was hit particularly hard by the steep sell-off in technology companies Friday and Monday. The Commerce Department said people spent less money at gas stations, department stores and electronics retailers last month. Elsewhere, the Labor Department said consumer prices slipped, mostly thanks to lower energy prices. [...] Wall Street is attuned to signs of weaker economic growth, and the combination of sluggish growth and high interest rates, which slow the economy down, may have worried investors. Utilities and real estate investment trusts climbed. Senior housing and health care real estate investment trust Welltower gained $1.12, or 1.5 percent, to $75.26. The drop in bond yields sent interest rates lower, which reduces the profits banks can make from mortgages and other loans. - From SFGate
The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates later in the day.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 1 point, or 0.1 percent, to 2,441 as of 10 a.m.
The Nasdaq composite added 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 6,229.
The Russell 2000 index sank 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,421.
NextEra Energy, the parent of Florida Power & Light, jumped $1.42, or 1 percent, to $141.37 and power company Southern Co.