JANUARY 3 2012 17:13h
Stocks turn briskly higher
The U.S. Census Bureau said construction spending rose 1.2 percent from November to December. The Institute of Supply Management said manufacturing activity picked up the pace in the last month of 2011, the Purchasing Manager's index coming in at 53.9, besting the break-even level of 50 by 3.9 points.
In midmorning trading on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average bolted out of the gate, gaining 248.39 points or 2.03 percent to 12,465.95. The Standard & Poor's 500 index added 25.88 points or 2.06 percent to 1,283.48. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index gained 56.61 points or 2.21 percent to 2,662.76.
The benchmark 10-year treasury note lost 24/32 to yield 1.956 percent.
The euro rose to $1.3051 from $1.296. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 76.69 from 76.92.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index added 0.67 percent, 56.46, to 8,455.35.
NEW YORK, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. stock markets kicked off 2012 trading by turning briskly higher, following positive movement in Asia and Europe.