US STOCKS-Wall Street opens higher as consumer spending data jumps

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
US STOCKS-Wall Street opens higher as consumer spending data jumps

* May consumer spending highest in six years

* Weekly jobless claims rise

* No breakthrough in Greek debt talks

* IAC jumps after plans for IPO of online dating business

* Indexes up: Dow 0.07 pct, S&P 0.02 pct, Nasdaq 0.09 pct (Updates to open)

By Tanya Agrawal

June 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street opened higher on Thursday as data showed that the U.S. economy was on the path to recovery after consumer spending recorded its largest increase in nearly six years.

Investors have been keeping a sharp eye on economic data for signs of a recovery in the U.S. economy, which came to a crawl in the first quarter, as the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.

The Commerce Department said consumer spending increased 0.9 percent last month, the biggest gain since August 2009, after a 0.1 percent rise in April. Personal income increased 0.5 percent last month after a similar gain in April. ID:nLNNPHEBC3

Weekly jobless claims rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 271,000 for the week ended June 20 but labor market conditions continued to tighten. ID:nLNNPHEBC4

However, the U.S. services sector grew in June at a slower pace than expected. Markit said its Purchasing Managers Index slipped to 54.8, short of expectations of 56.7. ID:nN9N0XE024

Talks between Greece and its international creditors remained inconclusive, but markets remained hopeful that a last-minute deal will materialize. Greece's creditors will now put forward their own proposal for a cash-for-reforms deal.

Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday as it took cues from the latest situation in Greece.

"The market continues to be held hostage to the situation in Greece," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

"Yesterday, it looked like the talks were less constructive and today we are seeing some movement in the right direction. The market would just like to see this situation in the rear-view mirror."

At 9:48 a.m. ET (1348 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 11.74 points, or 0.07 percent, at 17,977.81, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 0.52 points, or 0.02 percent, at 2,109.1 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 4.76 points, or 0.09 percent, at 5,127.17.

Five of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the telecommunications .SPLRCL index leading the gainers, with a 0.93 percent rise.

IAC/Interactive IACI.O shares jumped as much as 6.7 percent to $82.75 - a record high - after the company said it planned to list its dating business, which includes and mobile app Tinder. ID:nL3N0ZB40I

Molycorp MCP.N slumped 38.4 percent to 22 cents after the rare earths miner filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure $1.7 billion of debt. ID:nL3N0ZB2UG

Cree CREE.O fell 9.9 percent to $27.51, a day after the company cut its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter. ID:nL3N0ZA58B

Winnebago Industries WGO.N rose 7.1 percent to $22.16 after the motorhomes maker reported a rise in quarterly revenue, helped by higher shipments of its motorhomes. ID:nL3N0ZB3VU

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,500 to 1,217. On the Nasdaq, 1,258 issues rose and 996 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed seven new 52-week highs and eight new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 43 new highs and seven new lows. (Editing by Don Sebastian)

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