Sales data show rising rates not denting demand: portfolio manager

STORY: "At the end of the day, we are just too strong. We're on fire. I've never seen sales like this ever before," he said.

U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rebounded in August as Americans ramped up purchases of motor vehicles and dined out more amid lower gasoline prices.

Consumer spending could remain supported by persistent strength in the labor market, with other data on Thursday showing the number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level in more than three months.

The data was among the last batch of reports released before the Fed's policy meeting next Wednesday. Together with a surprise increase in consumer prices in August, the reports likely give the U.S. central bank ammunition to deliver a third consecutive 75-basis-point rate hike