NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks are rising in early trading following a jump in October retail sales.
The Commerce Department reports that retail sales rose 1.2 percent last month. That was nearly double the gain that had been expected and the largest increase since March. Much of the strength came from a big rise in auto sales. Excluding autos, retail sales rose a more modest 0.4 percent.
October represented the fourth straight increase in retail sales after sales had fallen in May and June. Those declines had raised worries about the economic recovery.