Stocks head higher as construction, manufacturing edge up

NEW YORK - Stocks are moving higher for a third day running, putting the Standard & Poor's 500 index back at a record high.

The S&P 500 rose seven points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,879 in the first few minutes of trading Tuesday, a point above its latest all-time high. Seven of the 10 industry sectors in the index rose.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,513. The Nasdaq composite rose 36 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,235.

Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.75 percent.

Traders were watching for the latest manufacturing data, which showed growth in March, as factory output recovered from severe winter weather. Manufacturers received more orders, suggesting that production could strengthen further in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported construction spending was up a tiny fraction in February at .01 percent. A harsh winter was blamed for depressed activity.

The small increase in February came from a 1.2 percent advance in nonresidential projects, led by a 3.5 percent rise in construction of hotels and motels. Spending on government projects edged up 0.1 percent, helped by a big gain at the federal level. Residential construction dropped 0.8 percent, the biggest setback since July.