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Strong start to holiday shopping season buoys Wall Street

New York - A strong start to the holiday shopping season pushed up stocks on Monday. The shopping days following the US holiday of Thanksgiving are traditionally seen as the kick-off to the Christmas shopping season and a key gauge of retail strength.

The National Retail Federation reported that 14 million more shoppers hit the stores than in the previous year as some 226 million people hoped to snag deals, spending an estimated 52.4 billion dollars.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 291.23 points, or 2.59 per cent, to hit 11,523.01. The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 33.88 points, or 2.92 per cent, to 1,192.55. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 85.83 points, or 3.52 per cent, to 2,527.34.

The US dollar was down against the euro at 75.13 euro cents from 75.60 euro cents on Friday. The dollar edged up against the Japanese currency to 77.99 yen from 77.73 yen.//DPA




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