A jump in auto sales and other good economic news helped drive stocks higher. Carmakers surged after posting strong August sales that gave the industry its best month in six years. And a trade group said US factories increased production last month at the fastest pace since June 2011. Investors were also looking ahead to Friday, when the August jobs report will be released. Economists expect 177,000 more jobs and an unemployment rate that held steady at 7.4%, according to FactSet. The jobs report is the last big piece of economic data the Fed will have to work with before it decides whether to start pulling back its massive program of bond-buying. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
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