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Stock market edges higher after encouraging economic reports offset interest rate concerns

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NEW YORK — The stock market is moving higher as encouraging news on the U.S. economy outweighs concerns that interest rates may start to rise next year.

Guess slumped after the apparel maker reported lower quarterly income and predicted a loss for the current quarter.

PHOTO: FILE - In this  Friday, March 14, 2014, file photo, trader Steven Kaplan works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks fell Thursday March 20, 2014 after comments from the new head of the Federal Reserve suggested U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets were anticipating. (AP Photo/Richard Drew. File)
FILE - In this Friday, March 14, 2014, file photo, trader Steven Kaplan works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stocks fell Thursday March 20, 2014 after comments from the new head of the Federal Reserve suggested U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets were anticipating. (AP Photo/Richard Drew. File)

The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose six points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,866 as of noon Eastern time.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 63 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,286. The Nasdaq composite climbed seven points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,315.

An index of economic indicators rose in February by the largest amount in three months, suggesting growth will accelerate following a severe winter.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said separately that manufacturing rebounded in that region in March.

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