America

Stocks Rallying; Manufacturing Up; Construction Spending Higher

Stocks are trading higher this morning (the Dow Jones industrial average is up about 110 points, or 1 percent) and some of the credit is going to these latest economic indicators:

— The private Institute for Supply Management says the nation's manufacturing sector expanded again in December. It was the 17th straight month of growth.

— Construction spending rose 0.4 percent in November from October, the Census Bureau reported. It was the third straight increase.

This week's most-anticipated economic data, though, will be the December payroll employment and jobless figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate has been stuck between 9.5 percent and 10 percent since mid-2009.

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