Closing Bell: Upbeat Economic News Helps Drive Stocks Higher

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traders wall street stocks investing economy auto sales federal reserve beige book
Seth Wenig/AP
A jump in U.S. auto sales and other good news on the economy helped drive the stock market higher Wednesday, though investors remained focused on whether there would be a Western-led military attack against Syria following a suspected chemical weapons attack on its civilians.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 96 points, or 0.7 percent, to 14,930, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 13 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,653 and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) jumped 36 points, or 1 percent, to 3,649.

Auto stocks rose sharply after reporting strong sales gains in August, leading the industry toward its best month in six years.

General Motors (GM) said its sales rose 15 percent last month, while Chrysler and Ford (F) each reported 12 percent gains. Toyota (TM) posted the biggest increase as sales rose nearly 23 percent since August of last year. Shares of GM advanced 5 percent to $35.85, while Ford rose 3.5 percent to $16.91.

A Federal Reserve survey showed that all 12 of the Fed's regional banking districts reported modest to moderate economic growth, as Americans bought more cars and homes and auto factories added workers.

The survey, known as the beige book, also showed that job growth was steady and that hiring in manufacturing improved modestly, especially at auto and auto-parts factories, but federal spending cuts resulted in production cutbacks at defense plants in parts of the country.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 1.2 percent to $107.23 a barrel, as investors continued to weigh how an anticipated strike on Syria might effect the flow of oil out of the Middle East.

More Stocks in the News:
  • Apple (AAPL) gained 2.1 percent to $498.69 after Cantor Fitzgerald initiated coverage of the company with a "buy" rating.
  • Dollar General (DG) jumped 4.7 percent to $56.39 after the discount store chain reported profits that narrowly beat Wall Street analyst estimates. In contrast to some of its competitors, Dollar General said sales at stores open more than a year climbed.
  • Francesca's Holdings (FRAN), which operates the Francesca's line of retail stores, plunged after reporting results that fell short of Wall Street estimates. The company cut its forecast for full-year earnings, citing poor customer traffic. Its stock plummeted 26 percent to $17.79.
  • Ciena (CIEN) surged almost 14 percent to $23.54. The developer of high-speed networking technology reported adjusted earnings that were far higher than Wall Street analysts expected, a result of higher revenue and lower costs.
  • Rochester Medical (ROCM) leaped 44 percent to $19.91 after C.R. Bard (BCR) agreed to buy the company for $262 million.
  • H&R Block (HRB) reported an adjusted quarterly loss Tuesday that was wider than expected, sending shares down 0.7 percent to $27.70. SAIC (SAI) fell 4.9 percent to $14.41 after its results. The two companies marked the S&P's two biggest percentage decliners.
  • Hain Celestial Group (HAIN) fell 2 percent to $80.21 a day after the company said activist investor Carl Icahn and his entities were cutting their stake in the company by roughly half.
What to Watch Thursday:
  • Selected chain retailers release August sales.
  • Payroll process releases data on August private sector hiring at 8:15 a.m. Eastern time.
  • The Labor Department reports weekly jobless claims, and revised second quarter data on productivity and costs -- both at 8:30 a.m.
  • At 10 a.m., the Institute for Supply Management releases its service sector index for August; the Commerce Department reports July factory orders; and Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.
These major companies are scheduled to report corporate quarterly earnings: -Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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14 Comments

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GEE

its Obamas fault.

September 05 2013 at 6:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
michael_vici

我知道我说的可能没有人相信,但我还是要说,因为事实发生在我的身上。中国隐秘共产党用纳米分子控制虐待我二十年,现在我的全身都是纳米分子,这些分子在我身体里散发气体对我进行控制,我的身体感觉麻木,说明纳米分子控制了我的疼痛感知器官。我的全身都被散发的气体所覆盖。所以感觉麻木。只是控制还没什么,关键是纳米分子在我体内做各种难受我的运转,我感觉纳米分子能够一个接一个的进行连续的虐待,也就是说纳米分子连在了一块,进行共同同步作业。我头里的纳米分子更是密集,我用头撞墙都一点感觉不到痛。身体也是,比如晃腿,晃的一点感觉都没有,很麻木,只知道晃动。说明里面的一部分神经也被控制了,但又有气体的麻木的覆盖,导致感觉失灵,只有腿部被软绵绵的兴奋感所驱动。就是说腿被气体覆盖住了大部分的感觉,只留主要的感觉去刺激带动。头部更是被虐待的不成样子,本来头部就被虐待的有些畸形,现在更是被带动着去想,只想一些隐秘共产党要求的事情,可见我的头成什么样子了,就这样我的头还被控制着去纠结一些事情,反复去想,不想做不到,也不行。我的头被控制虐待的实在是不成样子了.总的来说隐秘共产党不一下子伤害你,而是恶心人的一点一点的逐渐的伤害你。关键是现在我没有什么自主意识,完全被纳米分子控制住了我的头和想法,我该怎么活啊?每天纠结于被要求的想法,就是屎尿了有没有擦干净等问题。没擦干净就使劲的纠结,比如擦了几遍大便,可是纸上还有那么一点点,我就要继续擦,反复擦,小便也是,只要是溅到腿上尿了,就要反复的洗腿。还要看尿有没有在阴茎上,在的话就要拿纸擦一擦。我现在被虐待的实在不行了。隐秘共产党代表中国最先进的机器技术,以及最顶端的人,可是他们却做这猪狗不如的事情,这么肮脏的事情也就中国做的出来。这种随意践踏文明道德的人还有什么不能做的,所以我很惨。我的手机号码:13853788002

September 05 2013 at 3:43 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ivyteainn

The stock market is just one great ponzi scheme. They sell you shares of a company that have no real value and then manipulate the price of it with brokers on the floor. They can cause the DOW to go up and down.....whatever suits their purpose. Tell me what your share is worth in corporate bankruptcy....a stapler? hmmmmm....a chair? Actually nothing; you're buying nothing; it's secured by nothing. You're as dumb as hell.

September 05 2013 at 2:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ivyteainn's comment
Hello Bob

If you can't afford to play at the big boys table, then step away. There is no shame in not playing but there is a great of shame when you whine about it while clutching your mother's apron.

September 05 2013 at 7:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mchairmanmao

Good evening America...Even better news today, America will now begin importing cooked poultry from Beijing!!! Tyson shares will surely soar with this wonderful news. Please rest assured Beijing will not poison American chicken nuggets for now anyway. Soon you buy chicken raised and cooked in Beijing too.....Don't forget to get your honey melamine sauce too.

September 04 2013 at 11:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pdbliz

I SEE MR. NEGITIVE IS LOGED ON TONIGHT.!!!!!!!

September 04 2013 at 10:37 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Robert Young

What was the upbeat news? Unemployment is not expected to exceed 20%?

September 04 2013 at 8:26 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
pdbliz

What a lier,,,,,,,Obama said today,,,he did not make a commit about ,,,THE RED LINE.......That it was the people said that,,,
I hear a clip of him saying,,,,I DREW A RED LINE.....
CAN OBAMA TELL THE TRUTH ONCE,,,,,,,,,HE IS WORSE THAN BUSH EVER THOUGHT TO BE......EVEN LIEING BILL CLINTON.....

September 04 2013 at 7:28 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
pdbliz

I am investing,,,,I bought 12 fruit jars today,,,I will give out to my friends....
If you pack paper money in it tight,,,,it will hold a lot.!!!!

Interest on the fruit jar is about same as the banks.!!!!!!

September 04 2013 at 7:27 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
gymgorilla2

Some more of that good old warm and fuzzy feeling. Well, at least for the time being.

September 04 2013 at 7:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
joey

The huffington post writes this everytime the market goes up!!!!!!!!!!Please start posting the truth..

September 04 2013 at 5:26 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to joey's comment
Hello Bob

What is your problem Joey ? Is it past your bedtime or didn't you get a nappy ?

September 04 2013 at 7:10 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
josephautomotive

Oh they post it when it goes down too, but the truth is it has been going up more than down, All a downspike means to me is time to buy

September 04 2013 at 8:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply