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Dow Hits New High, Retail Gains Ground

Federal Reserve says economy appears to have returned to moderate growth.

Wall Street hit a new all-time high today as the Federal Reserve said it would continue to support the recovery and fears surrounding Cyprus’ debt troubles eased.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group showed a fair amount of pep and was up 1.1 percent, or 7.93 points, to 718.87 as the close approached. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an intraday high of 14,546.82 and was up 0.4 percent, or 61.70 points, to 14,517.52 in the final minutes of trading.

Among the retailers gaining ground were Target Corp., 3.3 percent to $68.63; Ann Inc., 2.9 percent to $30.89; Under Armour Inc., 2.6percent to $49.72; Tumi Holdings Inc., 2.5 percent to $23.92, and Urban Outfitters Inc., 2.5 percent to $40.38.

A Federal Reserve committee on monetary policy, which is led by Fed chairman Ben S. Bernanke, said the economy appears to have returned to “moderate economic growth following a pause late last year.”

“Labor market conditions have shown signs of improvement in recent months but the unemployment rate remains elevated,” the Fed said.

The central bank said it would continue to buy back debt, which helps keeps interest rates low and spurs on the economic growth.

In Europe, markets rallied as investor worries over the proposed Cyprus bailout subsided. The Cypriot parliament voted against controversial bailout measures proposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund that would have forced citizens with bank accounts to pay a levy in order to fund the 10 billion euro, or $12.93 billion, rescue.

Cypriot leaders engaged in talks with Russia, which might come to the rescue of the indebted island nation. After the levy idea was floated earlier in the week, investors feared a run on banks and their subsequent default.

The FTSE MIB in Milan was up 2.2 percent to 16,015.98 while the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 1.4 percent to 3,829.56. The DAX climbed 0.7 percent to 8,001.97, while the FTSE 100 in London was the only market that lost ground, falling 0.1 percent to 6,432.70. The pound traded at $1.51 against the dollar while the euro traded at $1.29 and the Swiss franc traded at $1.06.

Retail and luxury stocks took part in the rally. Asos.com advanced 7 percent to 33.28 pounds after reporting a 36.7 percent spike in second-quarter sales to 190.3 million pounds.

Geox was up 4 percent to 2.27 euros, while Safilo Group advanced 4.5 percent to 10.79 euros. The Swatch Group rose 3 percent to 95.95 Swiss francs.

Among the stocks that lost the most ground were Metro AG, which fell 2.4 percent to 22.38 euros, and French Connection, which fell 3.3 percent to 0.29 pounds.