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The Associated Press May 27, 2011, 4:12PM ET

Rising consumer confidence lifts stocks

Stocks are closing higher after an unexpected jump in consumer confidence and slight gains in Americans' spending and income.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index came in above analysts' estimates, boosting markets. Concerns about higher gas prices and inflation had knocked the gauge down in March and April.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points, or 0.3 percent, to close at 12,442 Friday.

The S&P 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,331. The Nasdaq composite rose 14 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,797.

Nearly three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

Trading was thin ahead of the Memorial Day holiday. Consolidated volume on the NYSE was 2.8 billion shares.

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