Consumer companies rallied after strong economic data.

New weekly jobless claims fell 12,000 to 201,000 for the week ended Feb. 17. In a sign that a feared housing recession may not materialize despite the increase in mortgage rates, used-home sales rose 3.1% in January from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4 million, the highest level since August, the National Association of Realtors said.

Wayfair posted a narrower-than-expected loss and a gain in active customers, but those customers spent less in the fourth quarter.

Swiss food processor Nestle reported weaker-than-expected results and warned of slower sales growth this year as higher prices prompted shoppers to ease spending.

Planet Fitness Chief Financial Officer Tom Fitzgerald disclosed retirement plans following the resignation of former chief executive officer, Chris Rondeau, from the gym chain's board and after recent layoffs.

Write to Rob Curran at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-22-24 1754ET