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Stocks gain on positive news from US retailers

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Close on the heels of the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States of America, stocks gained on positive news from U.S. retailers.

The National Retail Foundation’s 2007 Black Friday Weekend Survey said more than 147 million shoppers went out over the Black Friday weekend, up 4.8 per cent from 2006. But the survey showed consumers, on average, spent an estimated $347.44 in total between Thursday and Sunday, down 3.5 per cent from last year.

In other economic news, Europe’s largest bank, HSBC, said it will take on $45 billion of assets to bail out two structured investment vehicles. The bank is trying to prevent the SIVs from collapsing and forcing fund managers to sell.

But next year’s economic outlook may not be as bad as expected. A Citigroup survey showed that economists predict global growth to slow rather than collapse next year.

The Dow is up 40.73 points to 13,021.61 today, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 is up 2.12 points to 1,442.82. The Nasdaq added 11.66 points to 2,608.26.

The euro is trading at $1.4845, and the dollar is at 108.46 yen. The dollar opened at 74.57 on the index. Gold is up $6.10 to $830.80 per ounce, while oil is trading down 48 cents at $97.70 per barrel.

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