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GDP Growth Spurs Mini Rally

Ian Wyatt

Stocks are rising today even as the fiscal cliff draws nearer, thanks in part to the best GDP growth for the U.S. economy in almost a year.

The U.S. economy grew 2.7% from July through September, up from the 2% growth that was previously reported. The 2.7% growth is a vast improvement from the mere 1.3% growth of the previous quarter.

While consumer spending was down, a spike in exports was enough to lift America’s gross domestic product. However, if last week’s record-breaking Black Friday sales are any indication, then consumer spending could improve this quarter – fiscal cliff or no fiscal cliff.

The 2.7% GDP growth was the fastest the U.S. economy has grown since the fourth quarter of 2011.

The upward revision in last quarter’s GDP growth has been a nice boost for stocks today. As of 1 p.m. eastern time, the Nasdaq had gained 0.5%, the S&P 500 0.3%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average 0.2%.

Pandora (NYSE: P) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) are two companies making big moves today.

Shares of Pandora, the online radio company that has struggled mightily since going public last year, are up 7.5% ahead of next Tuesday’s third-quarter earnings report.

Research In Motion shares, meanwhile, have climbed 6.4% after Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) raised its rating from “Neutral” to “Buy” for the stock. The company’s Blackberry 10 launch on January 30 is the catalyst behind the improved rating.