US stocks lifted by consumer data, Clinton debate boost

Clinton talks to reporters on her campaign plane in White Plains, New York, on Sept 27, 2016.
Clinton talks to reporters on her campaign plane in White Plains, New York, on Sept 27, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - US stocks jumped on Tuesday (Sept 27) following surprisingly good consumer confidence data and a strong performance by Democrat Hillary Clinton in the first US presidential debate.

Consumer confidence spiked to 104.1 last month, better than analyst expectations for 98 and the highest level since the Great Recession, according to the Conference Board.

The reading boosted retailers such as Macy's and Best Buy, which gained 1.1 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 18,228.30, up 0.7 per cent.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.6 per cent to 2,159.93, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.9 per cent to 5,305.71.

Analysts also attributed the gains to increased investor confidence in a victory in the November election by Clinton, who is viewed as less of a wildcard for Wall Street than Republican Donald Trump. Most pundits declared Clinton the winner of the first of three debates.