(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday, after a host of economic data did little to cause investors to recalibrate expectations the Federal Reserve may begin to scale back its stimulus measures next week.

Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in August, below economists’ expectations of a 0.4 percent increase and the 0.4 percent climb in July. Sales were weaker than expected despite increased demand for automobiles and other big-ticket items and added to signs economic growth slowed in the third quarter.

In a separate report, producer prices rose 0.3 percent in August, slightly above expectations, as energy prices rose. However, the Producer Price Index excluding volatile food and energy costs was unchanged.

The Fed is widely expected to announce a reduction in stimulus when it concludes a two-day policy meeting on Wednesday.

“These were the two big numbers, the PPI and retail sales and I don’t think either of them change the outlook, which our base case is the Fed goes in and begins the (tapering) process here on the September 17-18 meeting,” said Darrell Cronk, regional chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank in New York.

“We’ll do a little bit of moving sideways probably, at least until we see the Fed meeting next week.”

Equities were unfazed as the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan‘s preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment fell to 76.8 in September, the lowest since April and well shy of August’s 82.1 and the 82.0 economists had expected.

In the last major piece of economic data on Friday’s schedule, business inventories rose 0.4 percent in July, their largest increase in six months and above the 0.2 percent estimate, suggesting restocking could provide a boost to third-quarter economic growth.

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