Strong Economic Data Helps Keep U.S. Stock ETFs Going

U.S. equities and stock exchange traded funds continued to strengthen Thursday as upbeat economic data lifted major indices.

The S&P 500 Index, along with related funds including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY), iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: IVV) and Vanguard 500 Index (NYSEARCA: VOO), were up 0.4% Thursday.

U.S. markets were supported by data showing consumer spending, which makes up over two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose 0.3% last month after a 0.2% gain in June, Reuters reports. The consumer data follows a day after data revealed the economy expanded at its fastest clip in over two years.

Global markets also strengthened after China revealed factory growth unexpectedly quickened in August.

“The outlook for the U.S. and the global economy, remains relatively positive and most investors do not see a recession ahead,” Michael Sheldon, chief investment officer of RDM Financial Group at HighTower, told Reuters. “Given that backdrop, equity markets are likely to grind higher over the next few quarters and pullbacks are likely to be bought by investors.”