North American stocks moved higher at the start of trading on Friday, as investors looked beyond another round of dismal U.S. economic news and instead focused on the chance of central bank help.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 61 points or 0.5 per cent, to 12,713. The broader S & P 500 rose 5 points or 0.4 per cent, to 1334. In Canada, the S&P composite index rose 45 points or 0.4 per cent, to 11,512.
The gains come despite worsening economic conditions. U.S. industrial production in May fell 0.1 per cent, versus expectations for a gain of 0.1 per cent. Manufacturing output in May fell 0.4 per cent. And the Empire manufacturing survey fell to 2.3 in June, down from 17.1 in May. The situation in Canada looked just as grim, with Canadian manufacturing sales slipping 0.8 per cent in April, versus expectations for a gain of 0.4 per cent.
U.S. technology stocks were among the biggest winners. Hewlett-Packard Co. rose 1.6 per cent and Microsoft Corp. rose 1.2 per cent.
In Canada, Suncor Energy Inc. rose 1 per cent and Manulife Financial Corp. rose 1.7 per cent.