The S&P / ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has closed up 0.3%, ending at 4,474.1, after recovering from early falls. Retail sales figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that sales rose 0.5% in September – higher than expected. The Reserve Bank has reported that new car sales were up 12.2% in October, although there are some doubts about the figures.

The Australian dollar was up slightly against the US dollar, currently buying 103.6 cents.

These three ASX stocks blitzed the market.

Atlas Iron Limited (ASX: AGO) rose 3.1% to close at $1.577. The junior iron ore miner may be seeing its price recover, after being heavily sold off in the first seven months of this year – down more than 50% since February, following a dramatic fall in the commodity price. Iron ore prices have since recovered, and are currently trading at around US$120 a tonne. The company plans to have three new mines operating in the next 12 months, and expects to double production to 12 million tonnes per annum by December 2013, at a cash cost of between A$46 to $50 per tonne.

Platinum Asset Management (ASX: PTM) climbed 2.6% to end at $3.61, after the fund manager reported a slight increase in funds under management to September, of $15.2 billion compared to $14.9 billion at the end of June, and announced that it had recently secured an additional mandate for approximately $700 million. Chairman, Michael Cole noted today that headwinds appear to be dissipating, with lower interest rates, which favour equities as an investment class, and an anticipated fall in the Australian dollar, due mainly to falling values of commodity exports.

Mineral sands miner, Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) added 2.5%, to close at $10.02. Perhaps investors see some value in the company, after the share price plunged in May and July, and is down over 40% over the last six months. However, shares could easily fall further from here, as the miner relies heavily on demand for zircon from China, one of its major products. Just last month, the company announced a 58% fall in production as weak demand hit global producers. So far there don’t appear to be any signs that demand has picked up.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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