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US Stocks Higher in Midday Trading - 2002-07-26

U.S. stocks moved mostly up from the opening bell on Wall Street Friday, responding to good news from consumers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped in and out of the plus column, but the Standard and Poor's 500 Index and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose throughout the morning session.

The technology sector got a boost from analysts' upgrades of computer chip companies.

Tyco contributed to the upturn with news that the troubled company has hired a high ranking Motorola executive as its new CEO. Motorola shares dropped.

The University of Michigan released it influential consumer confidence index showing that consumer confidence fell less than expected in July. Mickey Levy, chief economist for Bank of America, says the figures show the resiliency of U.S. consumers.

"The two factors that are dominant in driving consumption are disposable income, which is up nearly six percent year on year, and interest rates, which are at 40-year lows," explained Mr. Levy. " So the wealth affect is definitely negative, but it is offset by these other very powerful factors."

Experts say consumer confidence spurs spending, which accounts for two-thirds of the U.S. economy.