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Stocks mixed despite strong retail sales report

Trader John Panin, left, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Investors are calling an end to the past week's remarkable rally, with many cashing in on stocks Wednesday despite more strong economic data out of the U.S. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are mixed on Wall Street despite an unexpectedly strong increase in U.S. consumer spending last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down eight points to 14,441 shortly before noon Eastern time Wednesday. The index rose for an eighth straight day Tuesday, the longest streak of advances in more than two years.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was unchanged at 1,552. The Nasdaq composite fell one point to 3,241.

Americans spent at the fastest pace in five months in February, boosting retail spending 1.1 percent compared with January. That's better than economists expected.

Stocks of retail companies rose. Macy's rose 1 percent and Best Buy was up 3 percent.

Dole fell 8 percent after the fruit company's results fell short of Wall Street's estimates.