Wall St boosted by upbeat retail giants

US stocks rose yesterday, rebounding after sharp losses in the previous session, as better-than-expected results from big retailers encouraged investors to get back into the market.<br /><br />Results at consumer giants <strong>Home Depot, Target</strong> and department store operator <strong>Saks</strong> were helped by cost-cutting as revenue growth remained slack. The trend has dominated earnings season, but investors generally approved, bidding stocks higher.<br /><br />The earnings reports offset an unexpected drop in housing starts and permits in July, sending all three major indexes up more than 1 per cent in earlier trading.<br /><br />The Dow Jones industrial average was up 82.60 points, or 0.90 per cent, at 9,217.94. The Standard &amp; Poor&rsquo;s 500 Index was up 9.94 points, or 1.01 per cent, at 989.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 25.08 points, or 1.30 per cent, at 1,955.92.<br /><br />Financial, retail and technology stocks were the top advancers, but gains were broad-based.<br /><br />Mohamed El-Erian, however, the chief executive of bond fund manager Pacific Investment Management, said that the rally in has topped out, as valuations are running ahead of fundamentals.<br /><br />The S&amp;P 500 financial sector index, which suffered the most in Monday&rsquo;s sell-off, was up 1.92 per cent.<br /><br /><strong>American Express</strong> gained 4.3 per cent to $31.69 and <strong>Bank of America</strong> closed up 2.1 per cent at $16.90. Citigroup rose 3.5 per cent to $4.14.<br /><br /><strong>Home Depot</strong> shares rose 3.1 per cent to $26.93 while its key rival, Lowe&rsquo;s, dropped 2.3 per cent to $19.99 following a sell-off the previous day on disappointing results.<br /><br /><strong>Target</strong> climbed 7.6 per cent to $44.32 and Saks added 6.9 per cent to $5.72. The S&amp;P retail index gained was up 1.8 percent.<br /><br />The Nasdaq outpaced the other indexes after RBC highlighted investment opportunities in the smartphone market and raised its price target on shares of <strong>Apple, Research in Motion</strong> and <strong>Palm</strong>. Apple&rsquo;s shares climbed 2.8 per cent to $164.01, RIM added 4.6 per cent to $73.99 and Palm climbed 4.9 per cent to $13.88.<br /><br />Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 4 to 1, while advancing stocks beat decliners on the Nasdaq by 3 to 1.