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S&P 500 reaches further into record territory

NEW YORK - Stocks moved solidly higher Friday, pushing the Standard & Poor's 500 index further into record territory, as investors focused on a surprisingly strong report of growth in manufacturing in the Midwest.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 90 points, or 0.6 percent, to 16,361 as of 10:24 a.m. ET. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,864 and the Nasdaq composite rose 19 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,338.

Monster Beverage jumped 5 percent, the most in the S&P 500 index, after the company reported higher sales of its energy drinks in the fourth quarter despite legal attacks alleging that the company's products cause health risks.

Manufacturing in the Chicago area rose in February more than economists had forecast. The Institute for Supply Management's regional index for the Midwest rose to 59.8 from 59.6 in January. Economists had expected a decline because of the winter storms that have hit much of the Eastern part of the U.S. in the past several weeks.

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter, significantly slower than first thought. The reduced figure reflected slower consumer spending than what was initially estimated.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note increased to 2.69 percent from 2.64 percent late Thursday. Crude oil edged down 33 cents to $102.05 a barrel and gold decreased $7.30 to $1,325 an ounce.

After a 3.6 percent loss in January, the S&P 500 is up 4 percent this month, its best month since October 2013. The index closed at an all-time high of 1,854.29 on Thursday. It's up almost 1 percent for the year.

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