Stocks rise on manufacturing data

U.S. stocks had a big January, and they’re starting February strong, too.

Stocks climbed Wednesday after strong manufacturing data and encouraging reports about the Greek debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average closed within 100 points of its post-2008 financial crisis peak.

Factories raised output in January by the most in seven months, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index. And the Commerce Department said construction spending rose 1.5 percent in December, the fifth straight monthly gain.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 83.55 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 12,716.46. Earlier in the day, the Dow was up 151 points. But it moved less than 100 points for the day for the 20th consecutive trading session.

The Dow’s highest close since 2008 is 12,810, in April 2011.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 11.68 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 1,324.09. All 10 categories in the S&P 500 rose. The biggest gainer was financial stocks, up 1.6 percent.

The Nasdaq rose 34.43 points, or 1.2 percent, to 2,848.27.

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