U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday, after a government report showed that retail sales last month were stronger than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA was up almost 200 points, or 0.5%, soon after the opening bell, while the S&P 500 SPX gained 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite COMP climbed 0.4%, according to FactSet data, at last check. Retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.6% in August, as consumers continued to spend, according to a report Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau. That was stronger than the 0.1% gain forecast by economists polled by the Wall Street Journal.

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