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Wall Street Rallies Back

U.S. retail stocks gain 1.2 percent.

Wall Street continued to rebound today as first-quarter gross domestic product expanded, although not as fast as previously projected, and investors grew more comfortable with the interest rate outlook.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group rose 1.2 percent, or 9.36 points, to 781.01 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 1 percent, or 149.83 points, to 14,910.14.

The Commerce Department said the U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.8 percent in the first quarter, slower growth than the 2.4 percent previously projected.

Markets tanked last week after Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke indicated that the economy was strong enough to handle fewer Fed supports and the accompanying higher interest rates. Investors have also been worried over a cash crunch in China, but the central bank there has indicated that it would step in and help control interest rates.

The day’s gainers in the U.S. included Tumi Holdings Inc., up 3.5 percent to $24.05; Macy’s Inc., 2.5 percent to $47.73; Nike Inc., 2.4 percent to $61.85; Lululemon Athletica Inc., 2.2 percent to $63.88, and Amazon.com Inc., 2 percent to $277.57.

Stein Mart Inc. slipped 0.6 percent to $13.35 after the discount chain said Jay Stein had transitioned from interim chief executive officer back into the role of ceo. Stein was previously ceo at the chain, from 1990 to 2001, and has been chairman since 1989.

European stocks were also making a come back. Paris’ CAC 40 climbed 2.1 percent to 3,726.04 as the FTSE MIB in Milan rose 2 percent to 15,362.88, Frankfurt’s DAX expanded 1.7 percent to 7,940.99, and London’s FTSE 100 jumped 1 percent to 6,165.48.

The Swedish krona traded at 16 cents against the dollar, the pound at $1.51 and the euro at $1.31.

Retail and luxury stocks saw equally optimistic results, with the day’s gainers including Kering, up 3 percent to 155 euros; Ferragamo, 3.2 percent to 23.26 euros; Hennes & Mauritz, 2.2 percent to 221.90 Swedish krona, and Mulberry, 2.1 percent to 8.72 pounds.

Yoox lost 1.2 percent to 16.45 euros.