Despite Hurricane, Stocks Rise in Early Trading

Strong spending report and light storm damage led to a robust start for Wall Street

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An hour into trading on Monday, stocks were up across the board, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average registering a nearly 2 percent jump on opening. It was the first day of trading after Hurricane Irene swept the East Coast over the weekend, and it came alongside news that U.S. consumer spending rallied in July. According to an analyst CNN talked to, the hurricane's relatively light damage contributed to the robust market action. "Irene didn't live up to the hype, and that's a huge relief," BWF Financial analyst Hamed Khorsand told CNN money. "It's good for insurers, but it really comes down to the broader economy. Consumers can keep going with their regular spending habits instead of being sidetracked." Indeed, consumer spending seems to be coming along nicely, as a report from the U.S. Commerce Department found spending jumped by 0.8 percent in July, after declining 0.1 percent in June. The news comes as a relief after stagnant employment and spending numbers in the spring and early summer led to fears of a double-dip recession.

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