Jobs, spending news boost stocks

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Good news on jobs and consumer spending pushed stocks higher again yesterday.

The Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose for a third straight day. Yields on Treasury securities fell for a second day, easing worries that a sudden spike in interest rates could hurt the economy.

Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent last month and incomes increased 0.5 percent, the most in three months, the government reported. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to 346,000 last week. The report added to evidence that the job market is improving modestly.

Stocks have rallied this week as investors took advantage of lower prices after a sell-off last week that erased 560 points from the Dow over Wednesday and Thursday. The market swooned after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said that the central bank could cut back on its stimulus later this year and possibly end it next year, if the economy continued to improve.

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The Dow closed up 114.35 points to 15,024.49. The S&P 500 climbed 0.62 percent to 1,613.20. Nine of the 10 industry groups in the S&P 500 rose, led by financial stocks.

The Nasdaq composite rose 0.76 percent to 3,401.86.

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