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Markets & Stocks
Stocks edge up at open
Major indexes drift higher following drop in personal spending, rise in consumer sentiment.
October 31, 2003: 9:55 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - U.S. stocks edged up early Friday as investors took in a few earnings reports, a drop in personal spending and a slightly higher read on consumer sentiment.

After 20 minutes of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average (up 45.18 to 9831.79, Charts), the Standard & Poor's 500 (up 4.93 to 1051.87, Charts) index and the Nasdaq composite (up 6.51 to 1939.20, Charts) all traded about 0.2 percent higher.

S&P 500

Stocks are up for the week following a strong rally Tuesday on the heels of the Federal Reserve's decision to keep interest rates steady at 1 percent, a 42-year low, and signal that it would keep rates unchanged for some time.

But in the past few sessions, the major indexes have been fairly rangebound, with investors playing it cautious as the reporting period for quarterly earnings nears a close.

Released before the open Friday, a report showed that personal income edged up 0.3 percent in September after rising a revised 0.3 percent in August, higher than the 0.2 percent increase economists surveyed by were expecting. However, personal spending edged down 0.3 percent in September after rising a revised 1.1 percent in August. Economists expected it to fall 0.1 percent, according to

Spending overall in the third quarter rose 6.6 percent, according to figures released Thursday. Gross domestic product grew at a much faster than expected 7.2 percent annual rate, the government said Thursday.

Released just after the start of trading, the final reading on consumer sentiment in October from the University of Michigan was revised upward to 89.6 from a preliminary read of 89.4 and up from 87.7 in September. Economists were expecting a read of 89.5. Chicago PMI, a regional manufacturing survey is expected to have risen to 55.4 in October from 51.2 last month.

Asian stocks ended mostly lower Friday. European markets were mixed in midday trade.

Treasury prices gained, with the 10-year note yield slipping to 4.31 percent from 4.34 percent from late Thursday. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro.

Brent oil futures rose 29 cents to $27.01 a barrel in London. COMEX gold rose $1.30 to $385.70 an ounce.  Top of page

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