NEW YORK (AP) — The latest on developments in U.S. financial markets:
A strong signal on the economy and more corporate deals helped send stocks higher in midday trading on Wall Street.
Investors were encouraged by a report Monday that Americans increased their spending in September at the fastest pace in three months.
In deal news, telecommunications company Level 3 Communications rose 5 percent after agreeing to be acquired by CenturyLink.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 17 points, or 0.1 percent, to 18,177. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 5 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,131. The Nasdaq composite climbed 13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 5,203.