Better-than-expected retail sales and rising gas prices pushed retail and energy shares higher, pushing stocks modestly higher as investors continue to parse every development in both the markets and the broader economy in search of signs that the recession's end is near.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 28 points, or 0.33 percent, to close at 8,359. Home Depot (HD) was the DJIA's biggest gainer, climbing 2.5 percent. And Intel (INTC) also surged, rising 2.1 percent, ahead of its second-quarter earnings announcement after the bell. Outside the Dow, Goldman Sachs (GS) rose slightly after posting a record quarterly profit.

For more on stocks making moves this today, be sure to check out BloggingStocks' market wrap-up.

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