Stocks Up on Consumer Confidence, S&P 500 Best August in 14 Years

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Stocks rose on Friday, with benchmark indices posting a fourth week of gains, as investors welcomed a better-than-expected read on U.S. consumer confidence and bypassed geopolitical worries. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed unofficially 18 points higher, the S&P 500 rose 6 points to post its best August in 14 years, and the Nasdaq added 22 points. "The bullish sentiment continues to build; August started out as an ugly month, but will close out with real gains, and indices possibly in record territory," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "September may have a technical pullback, or a cooling off period," he said, referring to the market's oversold conditions. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final take on consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 in August from 81.8 the month before. Earlier, stock-index futures trimmed gains after consumer spending unexpectedly declined in July, off 0.1 percent after rising 0.4 percent the month before, the Commerce Department said.

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