Markets Right Now: Stocks rise as US consumer spending grows

NEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (All times local):

4 p.m.

Stocks are closing solidly higher for the second day in a row after the government said spending by consumers strengthened.

Health care and technology companies made some of the largest gains Wednesday. Drugmaker Biogen jumped 4.2 percent and Alphabet, Google's parent company, added 1.2 percent.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending grew in July along with wages and salaries. Investors also traded on positive reports from Europe and China.

A day ago, stocks climbed after the government raised its estimate of second-quarter economic growth.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 14 points, or 0.6 percent, to 2,471.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 59 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,952. The Nasdaq composite jumped 60 points, or 0.9 percent, to a record high of 6,428.

____

11:45 a.m.

U.S. stocks are higher at midday after the government said spending by consumers strengthened in July as wages and salaries grew.

Health care and technology companies are climbing Thursday after the Commerce Department's report.

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences rose 2.3 percent and Google parent company Alphabet added 1.2 percent as technology companies climbed. Among retailers, Amazon rose 1.1 percent and Tiffany gained 2.6 percent.

Investors also traded on positive reports from Europe and China.

A day ago, stocks climbed after the government raised its estimate of second-quarter economic growth.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,467.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 41 points, or 0.2 percent, to 21,934. The Nasdaq composite jumped 44 points, or 0.7 percent, to 6,412.

____

9:35 a.m.

U.S. stocks are rising in early trading after the government said spending by consumers improved in July as wages and salaries grew. Health care companies and retailers are making some of the biggest gains.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in July. Investors also traded on positive reports from Europe and China.

Amazon rose 1 percent and toy maker Hasbro picked up 2.2 percent. Among health care companies, drugmaker Gilead Sciences added 2 percent.

A day ago, stocks climbed after the government raised its estimate of second-quarter economic growth.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 9 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,466.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 76 points, or 0.3 percent, to 21,968. The Nasdaq composite gained 25 points, or 0.4 percent, to 6,393.

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