US stocks rise as US growth estimate lifted

Wall Street stocks

Wall Street stocks rose early higher Friday as a government report modestly upgraded the estimate for first-quarter US economic growth.

The Commerce Department said first-quarter growth was at an annual rate of 0.8 percent, up from the sluggish 0.5 percent originally estimated. The report said construction was a bit more robust than originally thought, but that manufacturing and consumer spending remained lackluster.

Investors were turning their focus to an afternoon public speaking engagement by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen a few hours before the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. US markets will be closed Monday.

About 35 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 17,858.29, up 0.2 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.2 percent to 2,094.98, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4 percent at 4,920.87.

Google parent Alphabet climbed 1.0 percent after a jury ruled in a retrial that Google did not unfairly use parts of Oracle’s Java programming language in its Android smartphone operating system. The retrial stemmed from a 2012 case in which Google also had prevailed.

Oracle, which sought $9 billion in damages, said there were grounds for an appeal. Oracle lost 0.1 percent.

FEI Company, which manufacturers high-tech microscopes, surged 13.6 percent following an announcement that it agreed to be acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific for about $4.2 billion. Thermo Fisher slipped 0.3 percent.

Ulta Beauty surged 10.0 percent after first-quarter net income shot up 37.3 percent to $92 million and the cosmetics company pointed to “healthy” consumer demand for beauty products.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals international rose 7.8 percent following reports it received a preliminary takeover offer from Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical and TPG Capital Management, but rejected the proposal.

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