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US: Shares jump on solid US retail sales report

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[NEW YORK] US shares jumped in opening trade Friday helped by solid reports on US retail sales and German economic growth, which also helped power a rebound in European stocks.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 115.00 points (0.73 per cent) at 15,775.18.

The S&P 500 added 16.74 (0.92 per cent) at 1,845.82, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 40.69 (0.95 per cent) to 4,307.53.

Despite a sharp drop in spending on gasoline, due to price falls, overall retail sales in the United States rose 0.2 per cent in January, and December's drop was revised upward to a 0.2 per cent gain.

Sales were "stronger than expected, particularly given what should have been a drag on spending from the big East Coast snowstorm," said Jim O'Sullivan of High Frequency Economics.

Meanwhile, data showed the German economy grew by a solid 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter, supporting hopes that growth in the eurozone economy still has momentum.