Stocks jump on consumer confidence

May 26, 2009 1:09:03 PM PDT
Consumers' good mood is spreading to Wall Street. Stocks are ending with sharp gains Tuesday after the Conference Board said consumer sentiment rose in May to the highest level since September.

Investors watch confidence measures for signs of whether consumers might start shopping more or making bigger purchases such as cars and homes. Spending by consumers makes up more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

At the close, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 196 to 8,473. The S&P 500 index is up 23 to 910, and the Nasdaq composite index is up 58 to 1,750.

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