Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in May, beating analysts' expectations and hinting at stronger economic growth in the second quarter of 2013. Auto sales, which gained 1.2 percent, lent the biggest boost to May retail sales.
Gallup polling shows Obama enjoying his highest approval rating since July. Possible boosts include the economy and his clash with the GOP over the payroll tax cut. But he remains vulnerable.
The Dow rose 32 points to 11555 as a jump in US consumer confidence and new efforts from European leaders to find more aggressive cures for the region's debt crisis encouraged investors
The Consumer Confidence Index jumped to 54.1 in November. That's still well below prerecession levels, but the improved sentiment may have helped online sales on Cyber Monday.
Consumer confidence fell almost ten percent in June. The consumer confidence index recorded the biggest drop since February.