Wall Street Jumps as Consumer Data Impress


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U.S. equities zipped higher Friday afternoon as traders eyed strong consumer sentiment data and shrugged off a weak manufacturing report.

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Today's Markets

As of 3:15 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 132 points, or 0.82%, to 16160, the S&P 500 advanced 10 points, or 0.55%, to 1840 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 5.8 points, or 0.14%, to 4246.

Markets across Europe posted gains on the day amid signs the once struggling eurozone economy is staging a comeback. The 18-member currency bloc expanded at a quarter-over-quarter pace of 0.3% in the fourth quarter, topping estimates of 0.2%.

In a positive sign, "the breakdown shows consumption turning positive for the first time since 2010 and investment was the main driver," according to analysts at Nomura.

On the U.S. front, the Federal Reserve said industrial production slumped 0.3% in January, widely missing estimates of a 0.3% gain. Factory output dropped 0.8% in the biggest drop since 2009. The central bank said the bad weather across the country might have impacted the data.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said export prices in January rose 0.2% from December, while economists expected prices to remain unchanged. Import prices, meanwhile, rose 0.1%, above the 0.1% fall Wall Street was looking for. Later, there are readings due out on industrial production and consumer sentiment.

The data on consumer sentiment could be particularly interesting because they'll provide the first look at how consumers are faring in February after a weaker-than-expected January retail sales report.

In corporate news, Jos. A. Bank (NYSE:JOSB) said it would buy the Eddie Bauer clothing brand from private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures fell 26 cents, or 0.26%, to $100.08 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline slumped 0.26% to $2.77 a gallon. Gold jumped $17.20, or 1.3%, to $1,317 a troy ounce.

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