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Manufacturing report helps lift major indexes

An increase in regional manufacturing pushed the stock market to its third straight advance and offset concerns about lower sales at Walmart.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose nearly 84 points, bringing its gains for the week to nearly 300 points. Treasury prices fell as improvements in some economic reports eased demand for safe havens.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve said its index of regional manufacturing rose to 17.6 in February from 15.2 in January. That follows reports the past two days that also pointed to a pickup in factory activity.

Stocks of companies that process raw materials gained because increased manufacturing should boost sales. The market drifted higher in light trading volume, so analysts cautioned against reading too much in to the latest gain. Light volume indicates many investors with concerns about the market are staying on the sidelines.

The Dow rose 83.66, or 0.8 percent, to 10,392.90. Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7.24, or 0.7 percent, to 1,106.75, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 15.42, or 0.7 percent, to 2,241.71. - AP

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