Stocks managed to break a three-day losing streak after better-than-expected retail data lifted optimism about the economy. Bobbi Rebell reports.
A strong report on retail sales sent investors shopping for stocks. That snapped a three-day losing streak for the Dow and S&P 500. Lower gas prices put more money in consumers' pockets - and from there to the mall. Consumer spending rose more than expected last month. Rising online sales helped retailers Restoration Hardware and Lululemon beat profit forecasts. The luxury home goods chain and the yoga pants maker both raised their full-year outlooks. Fashion marketing expert Michael Londrigan of LIM College: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL LONDRIGAN, ACADEMIC AFFAIRS DEAN, LIM COLLEGE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Lululemon as a company has sort of righted themselves. They're updating their marketing mix. They're changing their products slightly to get a different consumer into the store. It's not just that athletic person that they're looking for now. They're looking to expand their product offerings as well. Strong company." Stocks of office supply sellers Staples and Office Depot shot higher on very heavy trade. Activist investor Starboard Value bought a stake in Staples and upped its holdings in Office Depot. A Credit Suisse report in September said a merger of the two would be "compelling." Investors bid up the price of eBay. The online auctioneer is considering cutting up to 10 percent of its workforce as it prepares to spin off its PayPal unit, according to the Wall Street Journal. LendingClub's shares soared on their debut. The peer-to-peer lending company was the biggest gainer on the NYSE. Turning to Europe, despite a rebound after the strong U.S. retail data, shares closed mixed.