Stocks gain on encouraging news about the economy

Better news on jobs and consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday. And bond yields fell, easing investor worries that a sudden spike in interest rates could hurt the economy. Consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in May as incomes rose at the fastest pace in three months, the government said. In addition, the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits fell, bolstering evidence of an improving job market. Home builders also got a lift from a report Thursday suggesting the nation’s housing recovery remains intact. The number of people who signed contracts to buy homes jumped in May to the highest level in more than six years.