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Market Overview

Core November Retail Sales Up 0.5% Vs. 0.4% Expectation

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U.S. retail sales grew at a faster-than expected pace in November, buoyed by lower gas prices and rising employment.

The news gave a lift to major stock indexes, which all gained roughly 1.5 percent in late-morning trading.

Retail and food services sales totaled $449.3 billion in November, up 0.7 percent from October 2014 and 5.1 percent higher than November 2013, according to figures released Thursday by the Department of Commerce.

So-called core retail sales which exclude automobiles, were $357.3 billion in November, up 0.5 percent from the prior month and a gain of 4.3 percent from a year earlier.

Wall Street expected the core retail spending figure to gain by 0.4 percent from October.

Total sales for the September through November 2014 period were up 4.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

Separately, the Labor Department said initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended December 6 fell to 294,000, down 3,000 from the previous week's 297,000 claims.

The four-week moving average was nearly unchanged at 299,250.

 

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