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Retail Stocks on Rebound

Stronger-than-projected gain in confidence helps support stock gains.

Retail stocks gained on Wall Street today as consumer confidence topped expectations, rising to its highest level since January 2008.

The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group, rose 0.8 percent, or 6.09 points, to 771.65, gaining back some of the ground lost in last week’s rout, which was fed by fears of higher interest rates as the U.S. economy recovers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, increased 0.7 percent, or 100.75 points, to 14,760.31.

Leading fashion stocks higher were Fifth & Pacific Cos. Inc., up 5.8 percent to $21.51; Quiksilver Inc., 5.7 percent to $6.12, and The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., which rose 5.7 percent to $37.13 after the company said its founder and recently fired executive chairman George Zimmer had been arguing for a sale of the company.

The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index jumped to 81.4 this month from 74.3 in May — economists projected a modest uptick to 75.2.

“Consumers are considerably more positive about current business and labor market conditions than they were at the beginning of the year,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the research group. “Expectations have also improved considerably over the past several months, suggesting that the pace of growth is unlikely to slow in the short-term, and may even moderately pick up.”

Investors were also hearted by indications that the Bank of China would move to control interest rates after a recent spate of volatility.

The DAX in Frankfurt gained 1.6 percent to 7,811.30 as Paris’ CAC 40 climber 1.5 percent to 3,649.82, and London’s FTSE 100 rose 1.2 percent 6,101.91.

Milan’s FTSE MIB bucked the trend and lost 0.4 percent to 15,056.57.

The pound was trading at $1.51 against the dollar and the euro was worth $1.31.

The day’s biggest gainers included Safilo, up 4.2 percent to 14.06 euros; Inditex, 2.7 percent to 94.21 euros; Asos.com, 2.5 percent to 39.54 pounds, and Burberry, 2.3 percent to 13.09 pounds.