Stocks Higher

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Stocks are higher in early trading, based on strong earnings results and positive news on consumer spending.

Exxon Mobil on reported its most profitable quarter since the record third quarter of 2008 as it produced more oil. Newspaper publisher Gannett, meanwhile, said its net income rose 30 percent after political advertising boosted revenue at its television stations and costs fell.

Americans increased their spending sharply in December and consumer purchases for all of 2010 rose at the fastest pace in three years.

The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in December, matching the October gain. Households saw their incomes rise 0.4 percent, the same as November.

For all of 2010, consumers boosted spending 3.5 percent. That was the best performance since a 5.2 percent rise in 2007, before the recession began.

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