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Stocks open higher as consumer spending rises

In this April 24, 2013, photo, Trader Gordon Charlop, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. World stock markets mostly rose Monday April 29, 2013 as weaker-than-expected U.S. growth added to expectations that central banks will continue easy monetary policies to support economic recovery. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are edging higher in early trading on Wall Street as investors were encouraged by an increase in consumer spending last month.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 17 points at 14,730 shortly after the opening bell Monday, a gain of 0.1 percent.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up four points at 1,585, or 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq composite was up 14 at 3,292, or 0.4 percent.

Before the market opened the government reported that Americans' spending and income both rose 0.2 percent last month.

Moody's rose 7.6 percent and Standard & Poor's parent company McGraw-Hill rose 4 percent after the ratings agencies settled lawsuits dating back to the financial crisis that accused them of concealing risky investments.