U.S. equities moved higher boosted by encouraging data that points to improved consumer spending. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Positive retail sales data helped lift shares on Wall Street. Industrials and tech stocks led the pack. Stocks have risen in three of the past four sessions. Despite a plunge in stock prices in August, consumers are still spending. Retail sales rose in August, and July's figure was revised upward. S&P's Beth Ann Bovino: SOUNDBITE: BETH ANN BOVINO, U.S. CHIEF ECONOMIST, STANDARD & POOR'S (ENGLISH) SAYING: "One the things that they did seem to spend on was car sales. We saw a nice bounce in car sales that sort of is in line with what we saw with unit car sales, and it's something that also suggests that people maybe when they see the drop in gasoline prices, they're ready to buy a new set of wheels." Chevron was the Dow's top gainer. The price of U.S. crude rising on the prospect of lower domestic inventories and production. Fiat Chrysler shares were also higher. The United Auto Workers Union putting off a call for strikes as the two continue to negotiate wages and health benefits. Fitbit shares were up after Pacific Crest Securities gave the wearable device maker an "overweight" rating. And shares of UPS moved up after it said it plans to hire up to 95,000 workers to handle the additional packages for the holiday season. In Europe, oil and consumer stocks led shares higher amid light trading.