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The Independent Online

WALL STREET on fresh economic data as it awaited the auction of benchmark Treasury bonds later in the day. By midday the Dow was up 49 points at 10,836, while the tech-laden Nasdaq gained 5 points to 2,570.

Retail sales gained 0.7 per cent in July after a revised 0.2 per cent slide in June; July forecasts had been 0.3 per cent. "The number by and large is acceptable and comfortable," said an analyst.

He said the retail data could help calm financial markets.