U.S. stocks blasted higher to start the month of September, with optimistic data from China and Australia helping offset worries about the global economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 131 points to 10,146. The S&P 500 climbed 15 points to 1,064. The Nasdaq Composite added 36 points to 2,150. A new month and money is getting put to work at least on the open. The strongest stocks and sectors are the ones that depend on business in China, Brazil, and other overseas countries. Case in point, Caterpillar is up 4.5% on news the company is expanding in Brazil. Freeport McMoran which relies on China for demand, continues its' rally from yesterday, jumping 5% today. Other commodity stocks are also performing well including Cleveland Cliffs, US Steel, Potash, Petrobras, and Exxon Mobil. The financials are up two days in a row. That's a first. Charles Schwab is up 5% on an upgrade. In the retail space, Jos. A Bank is jumping 12% after beating earnings estimates. Joy Global is up 5% following earnings. AnnTaylor is up 5% on an upgrade. Express is up 2% after beating earnings estimates. Burger King is up 14% on rumors of takeover or take private deal. Not bad. Through the morning the averages kept pushing higher. The Dow rose 240 points. The Nasdaq rose 61 points. So far so good. Entering the lunch hour the averages remain strong. GE is up 4% thanks to management making positive comments about their future. Through the afternoon the averages moved sideways near the highs of the day. A good sign we're not selling off, yet we also had a similar rally to start August. In the last hour the averages remained strong. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 254 points, or 2.5%, to end at 10,269. The S&P 500 index rose 30 points, or 3%, to 1,080 led by the industrials and financials sectors, both up 3.9%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 62 points, or 3%, to 2,176.
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