Stocks are inching mostly higher in early trading on Wall Street after the government reported a pickup in retail sales last month.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up two points, or 0.1 percent, at 1,691 shortly after the opening of trading Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was flat at 15,416. The Nasdaq composite was up two points, less than 0.1 percent, at 3,671.

A measure of retail sales rose 0.5 percent in July, the biggest gain since December.

Yum Brands, which runs the Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, slumped 3 percent to $72.50 after reporting late Monday that its sales in China plunged 13 percent last month. Yum Brands is the biggest Western fast-food company in China.

[Associated Press]