Stocks are higher

Stocks opened higher on Wednesday after two straight trading days of declines.

Near 9:35 a.m. ET, the Dow was up 51 points, the S&P 500 was up 9 points, and the Nasdaq was up 32 points.

On Wednesday, we got the retail sales report for April, which was unchanged from March.

At 0%, sales missed expectations for 0.2% growth. Excluding auto and gas sales, retail sales rose 0.2%, below expectations for 0.5%.

After the data release, the US dollar index sank to around 93.93, its lowest since early February.

In other data, import prices fell 0.3% in April (versus +0.3% expected,) the 10th straight month of declines.

Gold broke above $US1,200, rising around 1% to as high as $US1206.40 an ounce. Silver jumped 3% to around $US17 an ounce.

At 10:30 a.m., the Energy Information Administration will report on commercial crude oil inventory levels for last week.

In its short term outlook released Tuesday, the EIA lowered its 2015/2016 US energy production forecasts, and projected that US oil output will decline from June through September before picking up again.

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