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US stocks gain on Ford profits, positive economic news

US stocks started the week stronger on Monday amid a surge of positive economic news and surprising profits for carmaker Ford.

business Updated: Nov 03, 2009 09:35 IST
DPA

US stocks started the week stronger on Monday amid a surge of positive economic news and surprising profits for carmaker Ford.

Ford Motor Co reported a net income of $997 million in the third quarter, its first operating profit since the first three months of 2008.

Economic data on manufacturing, construction and housing all helped push stocks higher. US factory output grew at its fastest pace in three years, according to an index of the Institute for Supply Management.

The Commerce Department said that construction spending unexpectedly rose 0.8 per cent in September. Signed contracts for houses also jumped 6.1 per cent on the month, according to the National Association of Realtors, as first-time buyers rushed to take advantage of government tax credits.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 76.71 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 9,789.44. The broader Standard and Poor's 500 Index rose 6.69 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 1,042.88. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 4.09 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 2,049.2.

The US currency dropped against the euro to 67.72 euro cents from 67.94 euro cents on Friday. The dollar rose against the Japanese currency to 90.23 yen from 90.09 yen.