U.S. stocks start October with modest gains

12:12, October 02, 2010      

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U.S. stocks started October with modest gains after a choppy session on Friday as most economic data topped estimates and gains in energy shares lifted the market amid a weak U.S. dollar.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 41.63, or 0.39 percent, to 10,829.68. The Standard & Poor's 500 index finished up 5.04 points, or 0.44 percent, to 1,146.24 and the Nasdaq added 2.13 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,370.75.

But for the week, the Dow fell 0.3 percent, the S&P 500 slipped 0.2 percent and the Nasdaq dropped 0.4 percent.

Friday's movement came after the Dow wrapped up its best September and also best third quarter in more than seven decades.

Trading was volatile in the morning session after a report from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showed the U.S. manufacturing sector expanded in September, but at a slower pace.

The ISM's manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 54.4 from 56.3 in August, which was the 14th consecutive month of growth. However, the data was not strong enough to swipe away concerns among investors over the strength of economic recovery.

The market started picking up before noon as the downbeat ISM report was overshadowed by a batch of better-than-expected economic news.

Significantly lifting the market, China's industrial production expanded at a strong pace in September, easing concerns over a major slowdown in its economy.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said that personal incomes rose 0.5 percent in August, which is better than economists had anticipated.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed construction spending in the United States grew 0.4 percent in August, exceeding expectations for a decline of 0.7 percent and turning positive after dropping 1.4 percent in July.

What's more, the University of Michigan said its final reading on September consumer sentiment was 68.2, exceeding expectations for a reading of 67.

Adding to the bullish sentiment, crude oil soared more than 2 percent on Friday to settle above 81 dollars a barrel as the dollar index plummeted to the lowest level since mid-January, making energy shares among the best performers in the stock market.

Source: Xinhua


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