Stocks Open Higher on Rise in Consumer Spending; Apple Price Target Cut

U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, as new data revealed a strengthening consumer.
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U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, as new data revealed a strengthening consumer. The Commerce Department accidentally released consumer spending data for November some 12 hours early, showing an increase of 0.3 percent. Plus, the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge, the personal consumption expenditure price index, rose 0.1 percent on a core basis. Shares of Apple (AAPL) were in focus Wednesday as the analysts at FBR cut their price target for the iPhone maker to $150 a share from $175 amid softening iPhone demand. Apple trades at $107 a share. Shares of Nike (NKE) were on the rise after reporting better than expected earnings of $0.90 cents a share, while Wall Street was looking for $0.86 cents on Tuesday after the closing bell. Top line figures fell short of expectations. Nike is the best performing Dow component so far this year. Finally, mortgage applications rose 7.3 percent last week, according to fresh data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. That’s the same week the Federal Reserve announced a historic rate hike, the first one in nearly a decade. TheStreet’s Scott Gamm reports from New York.