4:15 PM, Oct 15, 2009 --
- NYSE up 21.7 (0.3%) to 7,204.05.
- DJIA up 47 (0.5%) to 10,063.
- S&P 500 up 4.5 (0.4%) to 1,097.
- Nasdaq up 1 (0.5%) to 2,173.
- Hang Seng up 0.51%
- Nikkei up 1.77%
- FTSE down 0.63%
(+) CIT continues extended-hours gain on hopes for financing.
(+) ACOR gets positive FDA panel ruling for Fampridine-SR.
(+) HOG misses with results and narrows shipping guidance, cutting Buell production.
(-) C reported loss.
(-) NOK disappoints with results.
(-) STSA announces management shake-up.
(-) LJPC shareholders to vote on dissolving company on Oct. 30.
Stock averages close narrowly higher, at the day's highs. The Nasdaq, which had lagged the S&P 500 and DJIA, joined the major averages in the green within the final minutes of trading. Stocks opened fractionally lower after a trio of encouraging economic data dulled some of the sting of disappointing financial-sector earnings. Energy-linked gains helped the major averages improve.
Stocks opened fractionally lower as investors weighed positive economic reports against earnings from Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE:GS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C), both of which beat the Street but failed to match the blow-out earnings of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), which ignited a market rally yesterday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1.5% Wednesday, closing above 10,000 for the first time in a year on encouraging earnings reports from Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) and JPMorgan.
The market got some good news after a New York State manufacturing index jumped unexpectedly this month to its highest level in five years, and government data showed the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless insurance unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since January.
The Labor Department reported this morning that first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped to a seasonally-adjusted 514,000 from an upwardly revised 524,000 the previous week. The decline was less than economists' forecasts of 525,000, according to Thomson Reuters. Economists are guiding for job losses to fall below 200,000 in October from 263,000 in September, the smallest decline in a year.
The four-week average, which smooths fluctuations, fell for the sixth straight time to 531,500. That's the lowest since January and about 105,000 below the peak reached in early April. Employers have cut 7.2 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, which puts the unemployment rate at a 26-year high of 9.8%.
The Labor Department also said consumer prices rose 0.2% last month, matching analysts' expectations. Prices excluding the volatile energy and food categories also rose 0.2%, slightly higher than the 0.1% increase analysts had forecast.
Crude oil gained after data showed an unexpected drop in gasoline inventories as refineries cut production. November delivery rose $2.40, or 3.2%, to $77.58 a barrel, the highest settlement level for a front-month contract since October 2008. The contract earlier rose to $78.