NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Consumer sentiment remained unchanged in March

The consumer sentiment index compiled by the University of Michigan and Reuters, held steady at 73.6 during the month. Economists were expecting a reading of 73.

The news sent retail stocks higher, with the S&P Retail Index gaining 0.9% to 455.39 in morning trading.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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