The continuing decline of crude oil acted like an economic stimulus package on Monday, pushing retail stocks to their highest levels since June. The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index rose 18.14 points, or 4.8 percent, to close at 400.06, its first trip across the 400 threshold since June 17. The index hadn’t ended a session above the 400 mark since June 5.

The Nasdaq Composite closed up 1.1 percent to 2,439.95, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4 percent to 11,782.35 and the S&P 500 rose 0.7 percent to 1,305.31. Oil began the day higher on fears over the effect of the conflict between Russia and Georgia, but then resumed its slide, with a barrel of crude falling briefly to $113, after the dollar continued to strengthen and China reported a drop in oil imports. With prices continuing to come down at gas pumps in the U.S., the effect on retail stocks was dramatic and sustained.

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