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. Follow TheStreet.com on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.