In a revision of earlier data, the Commerce Department reported that Gross Domestic Product – the broadest measure of economic activity -- rose at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the 2nd quarter of 2008.
The revised GDP figure was welcomed on Wall Street where the Dow gained more than 200 points after the report was released Thursday. The rally mirrored similar gains posted Wednesday after the government announced that orders for durable goods rose 1.3 percent in July, led by a 28 percent increase in sales of commercial aircraft.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes rose more than 3 percent last month to nearly 5 million units. However, July sales were about 13 percent from last year and the number of unsold properties climbed to an all-time high.
And against a backdrop of economic uncertainty that includes everything from a beleaguered housing sector to rising unemployment, America's democrats officially nominated the man they want to chart a course for the future.
In an historic speech marking his achievement as the first black nominee of a major U.S. political party, Senator Barack Obama outlined his plans America and characterized the policies of the Bush administration as a failure.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, Democratic Nominee: "Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay and tuition that is beyond your reach. These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed presidency of George W. Bush."
While Obama has spent a relatively short time in Congress compared to presumptive republican nominee, Senator John McCain, he is not without a record on farm policy.
He supported the recently enacted Farm Bill, though he favored tighter payment limits to farmers.
Obama wants to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years on alternative energy sources including - solar, wind and advanced biofuels.
And he supports a renewable fuels standard that encourages the use of ethanol and other advanced biofuels including cellulosic ethanol.
U.S. energy policy dominated much of the rhetoric this week both in and out of the convention. Speaking in front of a hybrid bus at Union Station in Denver, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was interrupted by a small but vocal group of McCain supporters who waved hand-made "Drill Now" signs.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California: "Drill Now? Right here? You want to drill right here? Can we drill your brain? What we see here are the handmaidens of big oil. For too long the policies of the two oil men in the White House have reflected the demands of "Big Oil," not the security of the American people and not needs of consumers and the taxpayers."
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, Democratic Nominee: "Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and John McCain has been there for 26 of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Sen. McCain took office. Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
Obama delivered his acceptance speech to a capacity crowd at Invesco Field on the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" address. Yet he downplayed his role in the historic event.
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, Democratic Nominee: "I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington. But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you."