A pickup in retail sales sends US stocks higher, gaining back much of ground lost day before

Markets Associated Press

Stocks are rising in midday trading after the U.S. government reported a pickup in retail sales last month.

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The solid advance in midday trading Thursday came a day after U.S. stocks had their worst drop in two months.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 204 points, or 1.2 percent, to 17,737 as of 11:45 a.m. Eastern time Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 26 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,053. The Nasdaq composite rose 69 points, or 1.5 percent, to 4,753.

The price of oil fell 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $60.80 a barrel in New York. Crude is trading at a five-year low.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.20 percent.