Stocks jump on stronger consumer spending; Nasdaq sets new record

U.S. stocks rose again Thursday as investors were pleased with a report that showed spending by U.S. consumers grew in July, along with wages and salaries. Healthcare and technology companies led the way, and the Nasdaq composite set a record.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending grew at its fastest pace in three months. Companies that sell everything from cosmetics to toys to shoes advanced as investors bet Americans would shop more. Biotech drug companies, drug distributors and scientific equipment companies made some of the biggest gains in healthcare. Technology companies advanced for the fourth day in a row and closed at record highs. Gasoline futures continued to soar as former Hurricane Harvey left large parts of oil drilling and refining and pipelines out of commission.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.3% in July, the…

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