Tue, 21 May 2019

NEW YORK, New York - U.S. shares advanced on Thursday, the final trading day of the week, ahead of the Easter break.

The Dow Jones did best of all, responding to strong U.S. econopmic data particularly a boost in U.S. retail sales, which according to the Commerce Department rose in March at their fastest monthly pace in 18 months.

"It’s been kind of an anemic market over the last few weeks," Matthew Keator, managing partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts told Reuters. "There’s concern that the majority of the returns in 2019 were front-end loaded."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 110 points or 0.42%, to 26,559.54.

The Standard and Poor's 500 added 4.58 points or 0.16% to 2,905.03.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 1.98 points or 0.02% to 7,998.06.

The U.S. dollar continued its recent rally pushing a number of currencies off their perches. The euro slumped to 1.1237, while the British pound dived to 1.2990.

The Japanese yen was little changed at 111.99, while the Swiss franc eased to 1.0150.

The Canadian dollar was a fraction lower at 1.3378.

The Australian dollar fell to 0.7150, while the New Zealand dollar was sharply weaker at 0.6686.

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