Tracking Your Money: Stocks rise...Retail reports due...

NEW YORK (AP) - Wall Street is ready for the final trading session of the week, having chalked up gains yesterday. The Dow added nearly 48 points, while the S&P was up nearly 10 and the Nasdaq rose 29 points. Futures trading suggests gains when Wall Street opens today.

HONG KONG (AP) - The international stock market rally is back on. Asian stock markets resumed their upward march with Tokyo's index surging nearly 4%. European markets rose in early trading. Investors cheered Japan's latest stimulus proposal.

SINGAPORE (AP) - Oil prices rose to above $50 a barrel today in Asia on stronger-than-expected results from U.S. retailers. That suggests the worst of a plunge in American consumer spending may be over. Investors have struggled to glean the health of the U.S. economy.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Investors will be digesting several items of interest today, including reports on weekly jobless claims as well as international trade. Retailers will be reporting on their March sales numbers.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new study suggests that big-time lobbying pays. The figures compiled by professors at the University of Kansas show companies that spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying successfully for a tax break enacted in 2004 got a 22,000% return.

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