Stocks Open Up After Irene

The first day of trading after Hurricane Irene brought a sharp surge to U.S. stocks, as relieved investors sent the Dow Jones rising 1.5 percent after the opening bell. Aside from the lighter-than-expected storm, traders were also encouraged by new economic data that showed Americans boosted their spending July by a higher amount than forecast. A slew of economic data is expected today and this week, building up to Friday’s unemployment report, which is expected to show the jobless rate sticking at 9.1 percent.