Manufacturing, banking reports lift stocks

Stocks push higher as August trading begins amid signs of healing in manufacturing, banking

By Sara Lepro, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh signs of healing in the manufacturing and banking industries are giving investors reason to extend a powerful July rally into a second month.

Stocks are rising in early trading Monday as gains in overseas markets fed the recent momentum on Wall Street that gave the market its best July in 20 years. World markets mostly rose as surveys in China and Europe showed manufacturing activity is improving. Investors are hoping that figures on the manufacturing industry in the U.S. released later Monday will reveal a similar trend.

Positive reports from European banks added to the day’s upbeat news.

Barclays PLC said its first-half net profit increased 10 percent on stronger earnings from its investment banking division. HSBC Holdings PLC reported a 57 percent decline in its first-half profit, but results were better than anticipated. Still, losses from bad loans rose at both banks as consumers in the U.S. and Britain had trouble repaying debt.

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