Stocks rise as U.S. manufacturing strengthens


NEW YORK — Stocks are moving higher after a private survey suggested that manufacturing was expanding in the United States.

The survey from Markit showed that manufacturing grew at the fastest pace in almost four years in February.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 64 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,104 as of noon today.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose six points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,834. The Nasdaq composite rose 11 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,249.

Safeway rose 4 percent, one of the biggest gains in the S&P 500, after the grocer said it was in talks to put itself up for sale.

Facebook slipped 2 percent after announcing late Wednesday that it would pay $19 billion to buy a popular messaging service called WhatsApp.