Stocks rebounded Thursday, breaking a two-day losing streak as financial stocks recovered and helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.7 percent to 11,615.93. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 was up a milder 0.6 percent to 1,292.93 and the S&P Retail Index handily outperformed the overall market with a 2.1 percent rise to 393.25. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted a robust 16.8 percent rise in second-quarter profits, but investors, expecting the firm to do well, yawned and pushed the discounter’s shares up just 0.4 percent to $58.10. On the beauty side of the fashion equation, The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. boosted fourth-quarter earnings

by 35.7 percent, and investors responded in kind, trading shares of the company up 14 percent to $51.25. With fourth-quarter earnings that met expectations and a forecast for growth in its new fiscal year, Elizabeth Arden Inc.’s shares rose 10.3 percent to $18.80 after it offered a more upbeat view of 2009 to go with its fourth-quarter loss. And Liz Claiborne Inc., which on Wednesday posted a $23.2 million second-quarter loss and sustained an immediate stock drop-off, climbed back up on Thursday with an 11.7 percent rise to $14.72.

* Editor’s note: European stocks are quoted in the currency of their principal exchanges. Shares on the London Stock Exchange are quoted in pence, Richemont and The Swatch Group are quoted in Swiss francs and Hennes & Mauritz is quoted in Swedish kronor. All other European stocks are in euros.

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