Wall Street ends higher, despite jitters over consumer spending

Emma Haslett
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US stocks edged up (Source: Getty)

US stocks ended the day higher, despite concerns over consumer spending.

The Dow Jones finished the day 0.16 per cent higher at 18,040.37 points, while the S&P 500 rose 0.21 per cent at 2,111.73 points and the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.25 per cent up, at 5,082.93.

Pharma giant Immunogen led the rally, with shares surging more than 70 per cent after doctors hailed immunotherapy as a major breakthrough. Meanwhile, Intel fell 1.6 per cent after it confirmed plans to buy chip maker Altera.

The rise came after reports showed growth in manufacturing and construction in the US economy, although consumer spending disappointed.

Christian Schulz, a senior economist at Berenberg, said the manufacturing sector in particular was showing strength.

"US manufacturing continues to face headwinds from the strong dollar, but the mostly weather and partly port strike induced weakness of the first quarter seems to be over and give way to a moderate recovery in the sector."

The news added to concerns that the Federal Reserve may be seeking to hike interest rates sooner, rather than later. The US central bank has previously hinted that it is preparing to raise rates, with chief Janet Yelling suggesting a "gradual" rise. However, analysts are concerned the rate rise will come when the recovery is still weak.

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