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Retail Stocks Rise, Dow Breaks 14,000

Gain in payrolls helps support market.

U.S. retail stocks gained ground today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 14,000 for the first time since 2007.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 0.3 percent, or 2.15 points, to 700.28, as the Dow rose 1.1 percent, or 149.21 points, to 14,009.79.

Among the gainers were Elizabeth Arden Inc., up 5.4 percent to $40.48; The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., 4.4 percent to $13.10; Estée Lauder Companies Inc., 2.9 percent to $62.72; Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., 2.7 percent to $15.50, and Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 2.1 percent to $51.07.

Markets were helped along by some good economic news. U.S. payrolls expanded by 157,000 last month, ahead of the 155,000 economists projected.

And the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers showed a rise in consumer confidence for January. The Index of Consumer Sentiment inched up to 73.8 last month from 72.9 in December. That’s a more positive reading of confidence then The Conference Board offered this week. That group’s Consumer Confidence Index fell to 58.6 for January from 66.7 in December.

European markets mostly gained ground for the day. The FTSE 100 in London and the CAC 40 in Paris were both up 1.1 percent, to 6,347.24 and 3,773.53, respectively. The DAX in Frankfurt was ahead 0.7 percent to 7,833.39.

The FTSE MIB in Milan lost ground, slipping 0.7 percent to 17,318.94.

Retail and luxury stocks were also mostly up. The day’s biggest gainers included Ferragamo, up 5.6 percent to 19.88 euros; The Swatch Group, 4.1 percent to 89.15 Swiss francs; PPR, 3.22 percent to 163.50 euros, and Asos.com, 2.1 percent to 26.44 pounds.

Going against the upward trend were Mulberry, down 1.5 percent to 11.80 pounds, and Inditex, which dropped 1.9 percent to 101.25 euros.

The euro traded at $1.36 against the dollar, while the pound was valued at $1.58 and the Swiss franc was worth $1.09.