NEW YORK - Stocks mostly rose yesterday on signs that consumers and businesses are feeling more confident about the economy.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 1.3 percent in November, more than double the increase analysts had expected and better than the 1.1 percent rise in October.

Commerce also reported a 0.2 percent gain in business inventories in October, breaking a 13-month streak of declines. That is a signal that businesses expect consumers to step up their purchases.

News that China's exports improved last month provided more evidence that the global economy is recovering.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 65.67, or 0.6 percent, to 10,471.50. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 4.06, or 0.4 percent, to 1,106.41, while the Nasdaq composite index slipped 0.55, or less than 0.1 percent, to 2,190.31.

Next week, investors will be looking to the policy statement that follows a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve's interest-rate committee for clues on the direction of interest rates. Reports are also due on housing and industrial production, and companies including Best Buy Co. and FedEx Corp. are scheduled to post quarterly earnings.