Stocks climb as stronger eco­nomic growth cheers in­vestors

Miami Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks climbed Wed­nes­day as in­vestors cheered a re­port of stronger eco­nomic growth. Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, re­tail­ers and travel providers all made solid gains.

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. Stocks were wob­bly at the out­set, but in­vestors’ con­cerns about ten­sions be­tween the U.S. and North Korea ap­peared to ease and stocks moved higher as the day wore on. Along with tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies and con­sumer-fo­cused firms, health care com­pa­nies and banks fin­ished higher. Big names like Mi­crosoft, Ama­zon and Face­book made some of the big­gest gains.

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 in­dex climbed 11.29 points, or 0.5 per­cent, to 2,457.59. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age picked up 27.06 points, or 0.1 per­cent, to 21,892.43. The Nas­daq com­pos­ite gained 66.42 points, or 1.1 per­cent, to 6,368.31 as tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies rose for the third day in a row. The Rus­sell 2000 in­dex of smaller-com­pany stocks added 7.64 points, or 0.6 per­cent, to 1,391.32.

The gov­ern­ment raised its GDP pro­jec­tion from last month, and the sec­ond-quar­ter es­ti­mate is much bet­ter than the first quar­ter, when growth was 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 pay­roll pro­ces­sor ADP.

Chip­maker Ana­log De­vices ad­vanced af­ter it an­nounced strong results in the third quar­ter along with a bet­ter-thanex­pected rev­enue fore­cast for the cur­rent pe­riod. Its stock jumped $4.17, or 5.2 per­cent, to $83.72. Mi­crosoft gained 96 cents, or 1.3 per­cent, to $74.01 and Face­book picked up $1.87, or 1.1 per­cent, to $169.92. Ama­zon rose $13.53, or 1.4 per­cent, to $967.59, and Bank of Amer­ica climbed 41 cents, or 1.7 per­cent, to $23.87.

Gaso­line prices spiked to two-year highs and oil prices con­tin­ued to fall as the Gulf re­gion was in­un­dated with rain by Trop­i­cal Storm Har­vey, which has knocked out sig­nif­i­cant oil drilling and re­fin­ing ca­pac­ity. On Tuesday the largest oil re­fin­ery in the U.S. was shut down and the op­er­a­tor of a ma­jor pipe­line car­ry­ing fuel to the East Coast said it was run­ning at a re­duced rate.

The trop­i­cal storm has dumped a record amount of rain on the Gulf Coast. It made land­fall again in Louisiana overnight. Au­thor­i­ties say more than 20 peo­ple have died in the storm and more than 32,000 peo­ple were in shel­ters in Texas alone.

Whole­sale gaso­line rose an­other 10 cents, or 5.7 per­cent, to $1.88 a gal­lon. Bench­mark U.S. crude lost 48 cents, or 1 per­cent, to $45.96 a bar­rel in New York while Brent crude, the in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, fell $1.14, or 2.2 per­cent, to $50.86 a bar­rel in Lon­don.

Bond prices inched lower af­ter a big jump the day be­fore. The yield on the 10-year Trea­sury note rose to 2.14 per­cent from 2.13 per­cent.

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