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Updated from 4:09 p.m. EST

Stocks posted big gains Tuesday as strength in January retail sales and lower oil pushed the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

past the 11,000 mark for the first time in more than a month.

The Dow surged 136.07 points, or 1.25%, to 11,028.39. The

S&P 500

rose 12.67 points, or 1%, to 1275.53, and the

Nasdaq Composite

was higher by 22.63 points, or 1%, to 2262.17. For the Dow, it was the highest close since Jan. 11, the last time it finished above 11,000.

"On a technical basis, 11,000 doesn't mean much for us, but from a psychological standpoint it may bring additional buyers into the market," said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist with Spencer Clarke LLC.

About 1.81 billion shares changed hands on the

New York Stock Exchange

, and volume on the Nasdaq was 1.83 billion shares. Advancers outpaced decliners 2 to 1.

The 10-year Treasury bond was down 8/32 in price to yield 4.61%, eight basis points below the two-year yield. The dollar fell against the yen and euro.

Oil plummeted, with the March crude contract losing $1.67 to close at $59.57 a barrel. The price is almost $1.50 below where front-month crude ended the last session of 2005 and is down more than 10% since the end of January.

According to the Commerce Department, retail sales rose 2.3% in January, roughly twice the expected rate, as gift cards and warm weather sent shoppers flocking to malls and auto dealerships.

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"This is astonishing," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist with High Frequency Economics. "With the exception of nonstore retailers and food, every sector saw sales rising by at least 1.4%. Unseasonably warm weather surely helped. This report points to huge first-quarter consumption and 4%-plus GDP."

Also on the economic front, the Commerce Department said business inventories rose 0.7% in December as sales rose 1.2%, the largest increase in about a year.

On Wednesday,

Federal Reserve

Chairman Ben Bernanke will be before Congress to talk about the economy. The testimony, formerly known as Humphrey-Hawkins, will be Bernanke's first since he replaced Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Fed.

The strong retail sales data sent the S&P Retail index higher by 1.9%. The Philadelphia Housing Sector index was also up 1.9% despite a warning from

KB Homes


late Monday that orders fell and cancellations rose in the first two months of 2006.

Citigroup upgraded shares of

Circuit City


to buy from hold and raised its price target to $30 from $23. The stock finished up 52 cents, or 2.1%, to $24.85.

Another retail giant,



, said last weekend's snowstorm in the Northeast could lower its results for February. Target estimated that same-store sales for the month will rise by 2.5% to 3.5%, down from its previous forecast for 2.5% to 4.5%. Target gained 89 cents, or 1.6%, to $55.43.

To view Gregg Greenberg's video take on today's market, click here


Warner Music

( WMG) said first-quarter earnings roughly doubled to $69 million, or 46 cents a share, including a charge for stock options. Revenue fell 4% from a year ago to $1.04 billion, slightly missing estimates. The stock was lower by 37 cents, or 1.8%, to close at $20.43.



said its biggest shareholder, Warren Buffett, won't stand for re-election to its board. The soft-drink company said Buffett cited claims on his time created by recent acquisitions at

Berkshire Hathaway


. Coca-Cola rose 61 cents, or 1.5%, to $41.35.



fourth-quarter loss widened fourfold to $528 million, or 28 cents a share, due to a $430 million charge for debt retirement. Adjusted for that, the company lost about a penny a share in the quarter, beating estimates by 4 cents. Qwest added 11 cents, or 1.9%, to $6.01.



reported first-quarter net income of $235.9 million, or 99 cents a share, up from $222.8 million, or 89 cents a share, a year ago. Sales rose 7% to $4.2 billion. The Thomson First Call consensus was for earnings of 83 cents a share on sales of $4.06 billion. Deere tacked on 87 cents, or 1.2%, to $74.67.

Taiwan chip foundry

United Microelectronics


said fourth-quarter earnings rose 129% from a year ago to $94.1 million, boosted by strong pricing. Sales fell slightly to about $850 million but came in above estimates. Shares slipped 2 cents, or 0.7%, to close at $3.02.

After the bell Monday,


( CD) posted fourth-quarter earnings of $537 million, or 53 cents a share. Revenue rose to $4.32 billion from $4.03 billion last year. Cendant's continuing operations lost 4 cents a share. The Thomson First Call consensus estimate was for a profit of 23 cents. Shares slid $1.13, or 6.7%, to $15.69.



said its president and chief operating officer, Michael Neuman, has stepped down, with his duties being assumed by two other executives. The company didn't give a reason for the resignation. EchoStar was down 50 cents, or 1.8%, to $27.71.

On Wednesday, earnings reports are expected from




Applied Materials



Biogen Idec




( GENZ).

Overseas markets were mixed, with London's FTSE 100 unchanged at 5792 and Germany's Xetra DAX adding 0.1% to 5763. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.9% overnight to 16,185, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.7% to 15,420.