Stocks climb as stronger eco­nomic growth cheers in­vestors

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Mar­ley Jay AP Markets Writer

U.S. stocks are ris­ing, with some of the largest gains go­ing to tech­nol­ogy and health care com­pa­nies, banks, re­tail­ers and travel com­pa­nies. The Com­merce Depart­ment raised its es­ti­mate for eco­nomic growth and said the U.S. gross do­mes­tic prod­uct grew at its fastest pace in two years be­tween April and June.

KEEP­ING SCORE » The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex climbed 13 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 2,459 as of 2:50 p.m. East­ern time. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age picked up 36 points, or 0.2 per­cent, to 21,901. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite gained 67 points, or 1.1 per­cent, to 6,369 as tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies rose for the third day in a row. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks added 7 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 1,390.

ECONOMY AND HIR­ING » The U.S. economy grew 3 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter, the fastest pace in two years. The Com­merce Depart­ment raised its pro­jec­tion from last month, and it’s much bet­ter than the first quar­ter, when the U.S. gross do­mes­tic prod­uct grew 1.2 per­cent. Mean­while, pri­vate busi­nesses added 237,000 jobs in Au­gust with broad gains across sev­eral in­dus­tries in­clud­ing con­struc­tion, man­u­fac­tur­ing and leisure and hos­pi­tal­ity, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by ADP.

THE QUOTE » “For all the tough times we’ve had the last cou­ple of weeks, the thing that’s kept the mar­ket afloat is the strong eco­nomic data,” said Brent Schutte, chief in­vest­ment strate­gist at North­west­ern Mu­tual Wealth Man­age­ment. He said in­vestors will be look­ing for ev­i­dence of higher pay and ris­ing in­fla­tion in eco­nomic re­ports over the next few days, and said stocks should keep ris­ing as long as the economy re­mains in good shape and in­fla­tion doesn’t pick up.

LEAD­ERS » Chip­maker Ana­log De­vices ad­vanced after it an­nounced strong re­sults in the third quar­ter along with a bet­ter-than-ex­pected rev­enue fore­cast for the cur­rent pe­riod. Its stock jumped $3.86, or 4.9 per­cent, to $83.41. Mi­crosoft gained $1.05, or 1.4 per­cent, to $74.10 and Face­book picked up $1.65, or 1 per­cent, to $169.70. Ama­zon rose $12.46, or 1.3 per­cent, to $966.52, and Bank of Amer­ica climbed 45 cents, or 1.9 per­cent, to $23.91.

EARN­INGS » Drone maker AeroViron­ment climbed $7.07, or 18 per­cent, to $46.42 after the com­pany said prod­uct sales al­most dou­bled in the fis­cal first quar­ter. Brown-For­man, the maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and other drinks, raised its profit fore­cast and posted strong first-quar­ter re­sults. The shares rose $1.67, or 3.3 per­cent, to $52.87.

H&R Block lost $2.25, or 7.7 per­cent, to $26.98 after it said it isn’t plan­ning any ma­jor cost cuts in its new fis­cal year, un­like the year be­fore.

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