Consumer spending helped push Wall Street higher today.
The S&P 500 Retailing Industry Group gained 1.2 percent, or 9.70 points, to 789.41, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose 1.2 percent, or 180.85 points, to 15,176.08.
The Census Bureau said seasonally adjusted May retail sales increased 0.6 percent versus April, better than the 0.4 percent gain economists projected. Sales rose 4.3 percent versus a year earlier.
“Consumers have been gaining confidence,” said Leslie Levesque, IHS Global Insight Economist, in an analysis. “The outlook on labor market conditions has improved and consumers are considerably more optimistic in their economic outlook. There are several positives on the consumer front: inflation is low, gasoline prices have been accommodative, the housing market is looking brighter and the stock market is strong.”
The day’s gainers included PVH Corp., which rose 10.2 percent to $122.60 after the company easily topped first-quarter profit expectations; The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., 5.7 percent to $37.61; Sears Holdings Corp., 4.8 percent to $47.21, and Lululemon Athletica Inc., which rose 4 percent to $66.84 as the stock regained its footing following word that Christine Day was on her way out as chief executive officer.
Shares of fragrance maker Coty Inc. bucked the trend on its first day of trading and fell 0.8 percent to $17.36.
U.S. markets have been strong despite some jitters overseas.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 fell 6.4 to 12,445.38, pushing the market into bear territory. The stock is down nearly 22 percent from its high last month.
Investors have been waiting to see when the U.S. market, which is still near its all-time highs, will also see a correction.
European stock markets perked up slightly at the close of trading with the FTSE MIB in Milan closing up 0.6 percent to 16,116.34 and the others broadly flat.
The FTSE 100 in London and the CAC 40 in Paris were both up 0.1 percent, to 6,304.63 and to 3,797.98, respectively. The DAX in Frankfurt closed down 0.6 percent to 8,095.39.
The euro traded at $1.33 against the dollar, while the pound fetched $1.57 and the Swiss franc equaled $1.08.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly down, with the day’s biggest decliners including Asos.com, which sank 3 percent to 39.10 pounds, and Inditex, 1.8 percent to 99.49 euros.