U.S. Stocks Higher Amid Robust Economic Data

By Mike Bird and Kenan Machado Features Dow Jones Newswires

U.S. stocks rose Thursday, as strong economic data helped lift major indexes.

Continue Reading Below

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%, or 65 points, to 21958 shortly after the opening bell. The S&P 500 gained 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.5%.

Fresh data out of the U.S. suggested the economy continued to grow at a steady, albeit slow, pace.

Americans' personal spending rose in July at the fastest pace since April, while personal incomes posted their biggest one-month jump since February, according to the Commerce Department.

The data followed upbeat reports Wednesday showing U.S. gross domestic product growth was also stronger than initially thought in the second quarter, while hiring among U.S. private employers increased by more than expected.

The strong economic data should keep U.S. stocks climbing, some investors say, even as many worry about the length of the stock market rally.

Continue Reading Below

Stocks were also higher across the world, with the Stoxx Europe 600 up about 1%.

The euro dipped slightly against the dollar, falling 0.3% to $1.1852, on the back of media reports that European Central Bank officials are concerned about the single currency's surge in the past four months. A stronger euro could damp inflation gains by making imported goods and services cheaper.

"We see the risks as still skewed toward the euro overshooting above $1.20 at some point this year rather than permanently reversing lower," said Deutsche Bank strategist George Saravelos in a note to clients published Thursday.

Earlier, Japan's Nikkei Stock Average closed up 0.7% after weakening in 14 of the past 19 trading sessions, leaving the index down for August. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.4%, posting a monthly gain.

Michael Wursthorn contributed to this article

Write to Mike Bird at Mike.Bird@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at kenan.machado@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 31, 2017 10:22 ET (14:22 GMT)