factory recycling factory, KnowasteManufacturing grew in December at the fastest pace in six months, the latest sign that the US economy gained momentum at the end of last year. Manufacturing has expanded for more than two years. Factories were one of the first areas of the economy to start growing after the recession officially ended in June 2009.

Stocks rose sharply this week as investors returning from the holiday were encouraged by this and other positive economic reports from the United States and around the world.

(READ the AP story via NPR News)

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