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Stocks Rally Thursday; Dow Up 136 Points

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Investors embraced some hopeful economic reports Thursday leading to a strong rally for the markets.
 
The Dow closed up 136 points, or 1.04 percent, at 13,232.62. The Nasdaq gained 43 points, up1.44 percent to close at 3,020.06. The S&P added 15 points at 1,427.59 -- at 1.09 percent jump.
 
The latest reads on the economy show we're more confident and may be willing to spend.  Consumer Confidence hit a five-year high in October. Payroll processor ADP says U.S. firms added 158,000 jobs, and the number of Americans filing first time unemployment claims dropped slightly last week.
 
The October employment report, the last snapshot of the jobs picture before the election, is due out Friday.
 
Meanwhile, 21 retailers, from Target to Macy's say monthly sales rose five percent last month.  Analysts say some of that spending could have been in preparation for Superstorm Sandy and that shoppers may be cutting back in the weeks to come.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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