By and  on February 28, 2012

U.S. retail stocks established a new high Tuesday and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 13,000 for the first time since 2008 — a psychological victory aided by a better-than-expected reading on consumer confidence.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index rose to 70.8 for February from 61.5 a month earlier, far higher than economists’ consensus estimate of 63. Both components of the Index saw gains, with the present situation portion rising to 45 from 38.8 and the expectations side up to 88 from 76.7.

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