By and and  on March 4, 2011

Accelerating economic headwinds eased on Thursday with strong reports about retail sales and jobs, Wall Street’s best day of the year and even a pause in the escalation of oil prices.

Retailers reporting comparable-store sales for February averaged increases of 4.2 percent, better than the 3.6 percent expected, according to Thomson Reuters, with men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and accessories generating some of the biggest gains among broadlines retailers ranging from Saks Inc., with an industry-leading comp gain of 15.3 percent, to Target Corp., up 1.8 percent with apparel up in the low- to midsingle digits.

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