Stocks post mild gains following economic data

Stocks edged higher a second day as some good economic news outweighed worries about Syria. The Dow gained 64 points in two days, but that was not enough to make up for its 170-point loss on Tuesday. Verizon was the biggest gainer among blue chips after Vodafone said it was in talks to sell its 45% stake in their joint venture, Verizon Wireless. The US economy grew at a 2.5% annual rate from April through June, much faster than previously estimated. And the number of people who filed for jobless benefits last week fell to about 331,000, the fewest in five years. Still, Wall Street’s focused on next week, when the August jobs report will be released.