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At the open: Dow hits 13,000 (again) Add to ...

North American stocks rose at the start of trading on Tuesday, ahead of an afternoon monetary policy statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve and after a report showing strong retail sales in February.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40 points or 0.3 per cent, to 13,000. The broader S&P 500 rose 6 points or 0.5 per cent, to 1,377. In Canada, the S&P/TSX composite index rose 2 points, to 12,430.

U.S. retail sales rose 1.1 per cent last month, in line with expectations but nonetheless suggesting that consumers aren’t being thwarted by rising gasoline prices.

Economically sensitive stocks led the charge: Alcoa Inc. rose 1.5 per cent, Intel Corp. rose 1.2 per cent, JPMorgan Chase & Co. rose 1.1 per cent and Walt Disney Co. rose 1 per cent.

Canadian stocks were held back by some commodity producers: Barrick Gold Corp. was relatively flat, Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. fell 1 per cent and Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. fell 0.1 per cent.

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