Stocks start with slim gains after yesterday"s drubbing

Stocks edge higher following yesterday sharp losses, as this morning"s government data on retail sales and producer prices show no significant pick-up in inflation; S&P and Dow +0.1%, Nasdaq flat.

Despite concerns over the potential for a trade war, "the stock market is being supported by the economy and earnings being in double digits this year," says Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at Baird. "The one problem area is the technical situation and that the rally is getting more narrow, [which] would suggest we may have another retest of the February lows before this is all over."

European bourses are higher, with Germany"s DAX +0.8%, France"s CAC +0.5% and U.K."s FTSE +0.4%; in Asia, Japan"s Nikkei closed -0.9% and China"s Shanghai Composite finished -0.6%.

In corporate news, Ford +4.1% after shares were upgraded to Overweight at Morgan Stanley, while Signet Jewelers -13.3% after issuing below consensus earnings and revenue guidance for FY 2019.

Nine of the 11 S&P sectors are higher, with utilities (+1.1%) the top performer while no other group is up more than 0.4%.

In the bond market, the 10-year yield remains flat at 2.85% while the two-year yield trades higher by 2 bps at 2.28%.

U.S. WTI crude oil +0.1% at $60.77/bbl.

Still ahead: business inventories, EIA petroleum inventories