(CNBC.COM) – Stocks rose on Thursday, making back some of the steep losses in the previous session, as retail giant Walmart's earnings and strong retail sales figures led investors to believe the U.S. consumer could help the country avoid a recession.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the volatile session about 99.56 points higher after suffering its worst day of the year Wednesday. The index fell to a session low as 10-year Treasury rate dipped below 1.5 percent, the lowest level in three years. The S&P 500 was up 0.25 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite was little changed.
Retail sales rose solidly in July and beat expectations, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Consumers spent more at stores and restaurants last month, a sign that fears of a global slowdown that have roiled financial markets haven't soured consumer optimism.
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Walmart reported better-than-expected earnings and raised its outlook for the full year, sending its stock 6.1 percent higher Thursday. The retailer saw growth in its core domestic business as well as online operations, marking the 20th consecutive quarter of sales gains in the U.S.