Stocks rise ahead of economic reports


Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at 10:18 a.m.

NEW YORK — Stocks are rising ahead of reports on auto sales, manufacturing and construction spending.

Automotive website Edmunds.com and J.D. Power and Associates predict that auto sales rose 20 percent in February from the same time last year. Manufacturers, meanwhile, likely increased production at a slightly faster pace in February than in January, when output rose at the quickest rate since May 2004.

Yet economists expect more bad news in housing. Builders likely began work on fewer homes in January, marking the third straight monthly decline in construction spending.

In early trading Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 32 points, or 0.3 percent, at 12,259.

The Standard & Poor's 500 is up 5, or 0.4 percent, at 1,332. The Nasdaq composite index is up 7, or 0.2 percent, at 2,788.

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