Stocks Inched Higher as Health, Consumer Stocks Gain

U.S. stocks were virtually unchanged at the close of a quiet trading day on Wednesday with gains in healthcare and consumer stocks after data showed U.S. modest economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.20 points, or 0.01%, to 17,813.39. The S&P 500 was down 0.27 point, or 0.01% to 2,088.87. The Nasdaq Composite was up 13.33 points, or 0.26%, to 5,116.14.

U.S. consumer spending barely rose in October as households took advantage of rising incomes to boost savings to their highest level in nearly three years, pointing to moderate economic growth in the fourth quarter. The Commerce Department said consumer spending edged up 0.1 percent after a similar increase in September.

Online sales are already spiking as shoppers take advantage of early deals that will leave them free to enjoy Thanksgiving at home instead of in stores.

Pfizer’s declaration that it intends to merge with Allergan and cut taxes by moving its tax home to Dublin from New York City has set off something of a furor.

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