Stocks Move Broadly Higher Early

(AP) -- U.S. stocks were broadly higher early Thursday on the last day of trading ahead of the Easter holiday weekend. Technology and industrial companies accounted for much of the gain. Energy stocks also rose. Investors were weighing the latest company earnings and new economic data showing spending by U.S. consumers rose modestly last month.

KEEPING SCORE: The S&P 500 index rose 8 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,612 as of 10:03 a.m. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 104 points, or 0.4 percent, to 23,952. The Nasdaq added 3 points to 6,952. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks picked up 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,519. The market is coming off a two-day losing streak and is on course to end the month with a loss.

EYE ON CONSUMERS: The Commerce Department said Americans increased their spending 0.2 percent in February, while their incomes rose 0.4 percent, boosted by increased wages and business owners' income. The healthy income gains could spur more spending in the coming months.

FASHIONABLE RESULTS: PVH, which owns Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, climbed 6.4 percent after its own results beat expectations. The stock gained $9.16 to $153.18.

TOASTWORTHY: Beverage maker Constellation Brands rose 2.8 percent after reporting a solid quarter. The maker of Corona beer and Robert Mondavi wines added $6.17 to $226.78.

GAME OVER: Shares in Gamestop slumped 11.5 percent after the retailer issued a disappointing full-year revenue and earnings outlook, which overshadowed fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street's expectations. The stock slid $1.63 to $12.52.

TRADE TENSIONS: Beijing again sought to head off a trade war with the U.S., urging Washington to abandon plans to impose tariffs that it warned could trigger a chain reaction disrupting global trade. Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng vowed that China will "fight to the end" to defend its interests, in response to President Donald Trump's plans to hike tariffs on $60 billion in Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy. Gao repeated earlier statements that China is open to talks, but wouldn't confirm reports they've already started.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 26 cents to $64.67 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 29 cents to $68.47 per barrel in London.

BOND YIELDS: Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.77 percent from 2.78 percent late Wednesday.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 106.44 yen from 106.88 yen on Wednesday. The euro strengthened to $1.2334 from $1.2313.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX added 1 percent and France's CAC 40 gained 0.8 percent. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.3 percent. Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent after a sharp drop in the yen made shares cheaper for foreign buyers. South Korea's Kospi added 0.7 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.2 percent.

(BE)