Stocks edge higher to open quarter as manufacturing activity rises as slower pace in September

By Stephen Bernard, AP
Friday, October 1, 2010

Stocks rise on Chinese, US manufacturing growth

NEW YORK — Signs of continued expansion in U.S. and Chinese manufacturing helped drive stocks higher Friday to kick off the final quarter of the year.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72 points in morning trading. The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index fell modestly in September but still indicated that activity was expanding at U.S. factories.

Major manufacturers like Boeing Co., General Electric Co. and 3M Co. all rose about 1 percent after the report came out.

Stocks rose from the opening bell on signs of strong growth in Chinese manufacturing. Asian and European markets mostly rose after the report showed the world’s second-largest economy remains robust.

There was other good news on the U.S. economy to keep stocks moving higher. Personal income and spending both rose more than expected in August, with incomes jumping by the fastest pace in eight months.

The Dow rose 71.98, or 0.7 percent, to 10,859.95 in morning trading.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8.11, or 0.7 percent, to 1,149.31, while the Nasdaq composite index rose to 1454, or 0.6 percent, to 2,383.16.

In corporate news, Hewlett-Packard Co. shares dropped as investors showed displeasure that the computer company named Leo Apotheker, the former head of business software maker SAP AG, its new CEO. Shares fell $1.20, or 2.9 percent, to $40.87.

United and Continental closed a deal to create the world’s biggest airline Friday. Shares of the newly combined company, United Continental Holdings Inc., jumped $1.15, or 4.9 percent, to $24.81.

Boeing shares rose $1.07 to $67.61. GE climbed 19 cents to $16.44, while 3M rose $1.04 to $87.75.

About three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange where volume came to 201.9 million shares.

Bond prices slipped and interest rates rose as investors moved into riskier assets. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is a benchmark for interest rates on mortgages and other loans, rose to 2.54 percent from 2.51 percent late Thursday.

China’s Shanghai composite index jumped 1.7 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock average rose 0.4 percent. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.2 percent, Germany’s DAX index gained 0.6 percent, and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.1 percent.

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