Stocks Opened Higher On Rise In Spending

U.S. stocks opened higher on Friday after data showed rise in personal spending. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 27.28 points to 13,173.10. The S&P 500 climbed 3.61 points to 1,406.89. The Nasdaq Composite gained 5.38 points to 3,100.74.

Americans spent money in February at the fastest pace in seven months, but a good chunk of their cash went to pay for higher energy costs and incomes rose at a much slower clip, government data showed Friday. Personal spending jumped 0.8% in February as personal income edged up 0.2%, the Commerce Department said. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast income would rise by 0.4% and spending by an even larger 0.7% on the month.

AMR Corp. (OTN:AAMRQ) reported a loss of $619 million, or $1.85 a share, for the month of February on operating revenue of $1.81 billion, according to a filing with regulators on Friday. The airline, wihch filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 29, disclosed $24.4 billion in total assets including $40 million in cash, $4.2 billion in restricted cash and short-term investments, and $10.9 billion in flight equipment. The company’s accumulated deficit totaled $8.44 billion as of Feb. 29.

Euro-zone finance ministers on Friday agreed on a temporary boost of the bloc’s bailout lending limit to €700 billion ($931 billion), opting for a less ambitious plan that some fear won’t be enough to prevent a re-awakening of euro zone financial turmoil.

Spain’s Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro on Friday said the government will cut 27 billion euros ($36 billion) from its budget this year, in an effort to bring down borrowing in the country that is currently at the center of financial market worries.

Crude oil rose above $123 a barrel on Friday after three losing sessions with support from a weaker dollar and expectations of tight gasoline supplies in the United States. Front-month Brent crude futures were up 89 cents to $123.28 a barrel by 1148 GMT, recovering from their sharpest daily fall in more than three weeks.

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