Economy, Markets Rev Up

The U.S. economy is headed into the final stretch of 2017 powered by one of sturdiest periods of growth in its nine-year expansion, a vigor that is helping drive stock-market indexes to new highs.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Thursday jumped 331.67 points, or 1.39%, to 24272.35, crossing the 24000 threshold just 30 trading days after passing 23000. Consumer spending, home sales and business investment are among several recent indicators exhibiting economic strength

. . . . Consumer spending, a key ingredient in economic growth, grew 0.3% in October from the prior month after rising 0.9%—the quickest pace in eight years—in September, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The spending figures suggested the economy entered the fourth quarter growing at a slightly slower pace than in previous months but still well above the roughly 2% annual average pace of the overall expansion.

Gross domestic product grew at a 3.1% annual rate in the second quarter, 3.3% in the third, and many economists estimate it is growing between 2.5% and 3% in the fourth quarter.

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