Wall Street rises on strong March retail sales data

US stocks gained yesterday after strong March retail sales increased optimism that the economic recovery is on track.

Investors snapped up retailers’ shares after top US chains reported a record year-over-year increase in same-store sales for March. The sales reflected a boost in consumer demand that some investors doubted would materialize so soon.

Online merchant Amazon.com jumped 4.5 per cent to $140.96, its highest close in four months.

“Retail sales are the whole backbone of the entire recovery,” said Keith Springer, president of Capital Financial Advisory Services in Sacramento, California. “If consumer spending and retail sales maintain anywhere close to where they were a couple years ago, then that will be a true recovery.”

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29.55 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 10,927.07. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 3.99 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 1,186.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 5.65 points, or 0.23 per cent, to 2,436.81.