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Wall Street Roundup: Climb continues. Unreliable ratings.

August 12, 2011 |  8:14 am

Wall sign -- stan honda afp getty images Gold: Trading now at $1,741 per ounce, down 0.6% from Thursday. Dow Jones industrial average: Trading now at 11217.59, up 0.7% from Thursday.

Climb continues. Stocks continued Thursday's upward climb this morning thanks to some good data about retail sales.

Unreliable ratings. The Wall Street Journal took a look at how often credit ratings agencies have managed to predict that a country would default on its bonds -- the results are not impressive for the agencies.

S&P probe. The Securities and Exchange Commission is the latest government body to probe last week's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor's -- this time they are looking at potential insider trading issues, the Financial Times reports.

Thoughts of a contrarian. Want to hear the arguments of someone who is shorting all the investments that have been going up in recent weeks, including gold, the Swiss franc and the volatility index? Look here.

--Nathaniel Popper

Credit: Getty Images/Stan Honda.