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US stocks rise on upbeat Chinese manufacturing data

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US stocks Friday traded higher as better-than-expected Chinese and US manufacturing data boosted hopes about growth in the world's two leading economies.

An hour into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 54.26 points (0.35 percent) to 15,600.01.

The broad-based S&P 500 picked up 3.66 (0.21 percent) at 1,760.20, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 4.38 (0.11 percent) to 3,924.09.

The gains came after China's official October purchasing managers' index (PMI) of manufacturing activity climbed to 51.4 last month from 51.1 in September, the highest reading since April 2012.

The data offered fresh evidence that China's economy is gradually emerging from a growth slowdown at the start of the year.

Stocks were also helped by the gain in the US manufacturing PMI for October from the Institute of Supply Management to 56.4 percent from 56.2 percent in September. Analysts expected the index to decline to 55.0.

Dow component Chevron fell 2.3 percent after earnings-per-share underperformed expectations of $2.71 by 14 cents. Profits fell 6 percent due to a decline in refinery profit margins.

Insurer AIG tumbled 6.3 percent after revenues of $8.66 billion lagged analyst expectations of $8.91 billion. Earnings exceeded expectations by penny at 96 cents per share.

Ford shares were down 0.1 percent after the company notched its best October retail car sales since 2004. Overall sales were up 14 percent.

Barrick Gold slumped 6.4 percent after its announcement of a $3 billion equity offering raised concerns about diluting the stock. Barrick will use the funds to repay debt. It said the number of outstanding shares will increase from 1 billion to about 1.16 billion.

First Solar bolted 16.0 percent higher after profits more than doubled to $195 million on higher orders. The company forecast full-year earnings of $4.25-$4.50 per share, well above the $3.77 projected by analysts.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.59 percent from 2.55 percent Thursday, while the 30-year increased to 3.67 percent from 3.64 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131101/us-stocks-rise-upbeat-chinese-manufacturing-data-0