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Main Street holds up as Wall Street struggles, for a change

Wall Street is hurting, and Main Street doesn't care. It's got burgers and cars to buy.

Big losses in stock markets around the world this year have the wingtip-set fretting, but regular consumers across the United States are confident enough to open their wallets and spend more. It's an about-face from the early years of the economic recovery, which began in 2009, when stocks and big banks were soaring but many on Main Street felt like they were getting left behind.

"It's almost like a stock market is a different animal," says Earl Stewart, who owns a Toyota dealership in North Palm Beach, Florida, far from the roiling markets in New York, Frankfurt and Shanghai....

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