4:20 PM, Sep 2, 2010 --
- NYSE up 26.07 (0.38%) to 6,937.05
- DJIA up 6.13 (0.06%) to 10,275.60
- S&P 500 up 5.09 (0.47%) to 1,085.38
- Nasdaq up 13.75 (0.63%) to 2,190.59
- Hang Seng up 1.19%
- Nikkei up 1.52%
- FTSE up 0.19%
(+) GPS says August same-store sales flat.
(+) KSS says August same-store sales up 4.5%.
(+) SKS says August sales up 1%.
(+) ROST says August same-store sales up 5%.
(+) BNVID gets NIH grant for obesity drug.
(+) M says August same-store sales up 4.3%.
(+) BKC reportedly to be bought for $24 a share.
(+) CRME earns milestone payment.
(+) COST August same-store sales up 6%, ex-fuel sales up 5%.
(+) HPQ gets upgraded.
(+) OREX inks pact with Takeda.
(-) ARO says August same-store sales fall 1%.
(-) ANF down even as August sales up 6%.
(-) CSIQ earnings miss.
Stock averages end near the day's highs ahead of Friday's much-anticipated August jobs report. Additional signs in data out Thursday that the bottom isn't falling out of the recovery allowed for a second day of stock gains after a weak August performance. The S&P 500 gained for a third straight day.
A trio of economic reports issued early Thursday added to positive sentiment found in manufacturing data a day earlier.
The Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, but remain well above levels that indicate a healthy economy. Claims dipped for the second straight week.
Meanwhile, the number of buyers who signed contracts to purchase homes rose 5.2 percent in July after hitting a record low in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales plummeted in the months following the expiration of the government's home buyer tax credit in April and economists were expecting that trend to continue for a third straight month.
Factory orders also climbed, rising 0.1 percent in July. The rise in orders backs up a report Wednesday showing the manufacturing sector continues to expand. Major indexes jumped more than 2 percent Wednesday after a surprising rise in manufacturing activity.
Wall Street is looking ahead to Friday's release of the August jobs report. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters predict the unemployment rate inched up to 9.6% last month from 9.5% in July as private employers hired just 41,000 workers last month.
Retailers also weighed in with mostly positive August same-store sales results. Overall, retailers were expected to post a 2.8% increase for August, after the 2.3% decline in August 2009. Department stores and some discounters were also seen boosting the overall sales performance.
Deal news is also supportive.
HP (NYSE:HPQ) boosted its bid for 3Par (NYSE:PAR) to $33 a share, and the move had the intended effect. Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), a rival to take over the company, dropped out of the bidding.
Burger King (BKC) was up sharply following an agreement to be acquired by 3G for $24 per share.