US stocks enjoy healthy boost from retail sales

Kate McCann
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US STOCKS closed up last night as healthy retail sales data for March boosted confidence in the world’s largest economy.

Regaining some ground lost last week when technology shares were hit particularly hard, the Nasdaq rose 0.6 per cent to close at 4,022.69. The Dow Jones was up 0.91 per cent and the S&P 500 up 0.82 per cent at close.

Morale in the markets was bolstered by strong retail sales figures for March, which surpassed expectations, but the overall picture remained volatile throughout the day with the Nasdaq dipping into negative territory in late trading before recovering.

Last week US markets were rocked as technology shares tumbled, with biotech firms bearing the brunt. The Nasdaq saw its worst loss since November 2011. Yesterday the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index was volatile, first rising then closing 0.02 per cent down.

Elsewhere, concerns about the situation in Ukraine spelled caution but markets held steady with the FTSE up 0.34 per cent and the French Cac 40 up 0.43 per cent on close.