By and and  on April 15, 2010

WASHINGTON — Signs of a broad economic recovery were evident Wednesday in a trio of government reports that forecast brighter prospects for clothing stores and pushed retail shares and the major stock indices sharply higher.

Retail stocks rose 1.7 percent, or 7.86 points, to close at 480.25, the highest level since October 2007, and advanced for the fifth consecutive session. The general updraft boosted the S&P 500 1.1 percent, or 13.35 points, to 1,210.65, the first time that index has been above 1,200 since September 2008. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 11,000 for the third straight day, increasing 0.9 percent, or 103.69 points, to 11,123.11.

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