Stocks rise as traders look past retail sales, unemployment reports

Stocks extended the big gains they posted after yesterday's relatively upbeat statement by the Federal Reserve, as the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 37 points, or 0.39 percent, to 9,398 despite worse than expected weekly unemployment and retail sales readings.

Bank of America (BAC) and Alcoa (AA) led the Dow higher, and Wal-Mart (WMT) gained 2.7 percent on stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings. Eighteen of the average's 30 component stocks rose on the day. Among the losers, Caterpillar (CAT) and McDonalds (MCD) fared the worst.

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

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