Stocks up on strong US auto sales
Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Wednesday after General Motors and other carmakers posted strong sales in August. Other positive news helped move stocks higher.
A jump in U.S. auto sales and other good news on the economy helped drive the stock market higher Wednesday.Skip to next paragraph
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General Motors and other carmakers surged after posting strong sales in August, giving the industry its best month in six years.
"Car sales were really impressive," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York. They're important for what they suggest about the larger economy: solid consumer spending and increased manufacturing. "It means the economy is holding up," Cardillo said.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 13.31 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,653.08.
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Jim Russell, a senior equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Cincinnati, said recent economic reports have drawn a brighter picture of the global economy, even as concerns over a U.S. strike on Syria have claimed much of the public's attention.
A trade group said Tuesday that U.S. factories increased production last month at the fastest pace since June 2011, propelled by a sharp rise in new orders. Separate reports out Monday showed stronger manufacturing in Europe and China.
"All of these add up to better economic growth on a global scale," Russell said.
On Wednesday, General Motors said its sales rose 15 percent last month, while Chrysler and Ford each reported 12 percent gains. Toyota posted the biggest increase as sales rose nearly 23 percent since August of last year.