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Thanksgiving Day holiday shoppers line up with television sets on discount at the Target retail store in Chicago, Illinois, November 28, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

Solid U.S. retail sales boost economic outlook

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By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON - U.S. retail sales rose solidly in November, adding to signs of a strengthening economy that could draw the Federal Reserve closer to reducing the pace of monetary stimulus.

The upbeat picture was clouded somewhat by other data on Thursday showing the biggest jump in a year in first-time claims for jobless benefits. Economists, however, largely dismissed that report as skewed by a late Thanksgiving and other factors.

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