Stocks get boost from economic reports
NEW YORK — Encouraging economic reports lifted stocks yesterday and bolstered hopes that the recovery is in better shape than many had believed.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 118 points after falling for the last two days. Energy stocks led the market higher following a strong earnings report from Exxon Mobil Corp.
Gains in manufacturing and personal incomes gave the market a strong start to February after rising doubts about the economy led to three weeks of losses.
Investors were already becoming more optimistic thanks to news on Friday that the economy grew at the fastest pace in six years in the last three months of 2009.