By  on February 6, 2009

January sales declines and a spike in unemployment were not enough to keep investors on the sidelines Friday as retail shares rallied 4.2 percent in mid-afternoon trading.

The Standard & Poor’s Retail Index advanced 11.33 points to 281.32, adding to its 3.3 percent gain Thursday, when many large chains detailed monthly sales declines, in many cases reaching into double-digits. Retail was outperforming the market overall in afternoon trading Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 2.8 percent, or 225.56 points, to 8,288.63.

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