- Dow Jones Industrial Average up 181.19 (+1.41%) to 12,986.58
- S&P 500up 18.86 (+1.38%) to 1,387.57
- Nasdaq Composite up 39.09 (+1.30%) to 3,055.55
- Nikkei 225 up 0.70%
- Hang Seng Index up 0.93%.
- China Shanghai Composite Index up 1.82%
- FTSE 100 up 1.34%
U.S. stocks rallied Thursday as both the Fed and the ECB indicated over the last two days they would keep borrowing rates low for the foreseeable future. This optimism overshadowed the earlier release of disappointing U.S. jobs data.
Stock futures initially sagged in pre-market trading after the Labor Department reported initial jobless claims last week unexpectedly rose by 13,000 individuals to 380,000 new claims. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had projected claims would total a seasonally adjusted 359,000. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, rose by a smaller 4,250 to 368,500, the highest level in a month. Much of the increase last week, however, was seen to be related to spring break when school workers are allowed to file claims. Total claims also declined, sliding to around 6.95 million people receiving some kind of state or federal benefit in the week ended March 17, down 97,833 from the prior week.
Separately, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. trade deficit fell 12.4% in February - due mostly to a drop in imports - marking its biggest drop in three years. Economists at Capital Economics believe that the narrowing trade deficit bodes well for U.S. economic growth in the first quarter. The Labor Department said U.S. wholesale prices were unchanged in March after the recent surge in energy prices mostly reversed. Excluding food and energy, core wholesale prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3%. Experts had predicted a 0.1% decrease in the overall producer price index and a 0.2% rise in core PPI.
In company news, Fusion-io Inc. (FIO) climbed following a note by Piper Jaffray Cos. claiming that the company may be working on a manufacturing contract with Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO). CSCO shares inched higher. Eldorado Gold (EGO) surged after the miner announced plans to spend $1.95B over the next five years to reach its production target of 1.7M ounces of gold annually by 2016.
Commodities joined in on the rally. Crude oil futures advanced 94 cents, or 0.9%, to end at $103.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold for June delivery rallied $20.30, or 1.2%, to settle at $1,680.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
NYSE SECTOR INDICES
NYSE Energy Index up 1.61% to 12,418.8516
NYSE Financial Index up 1.21% to 4,656.0122
NYSE Healthcare Index up 0.43% to 7,298.23
(+) ANR, BlackRock Managing Director calls Coal Miners a "Great Buy."
(+) ANW, Takes delivery of 31 new, double-hull tankers.
(+) MCK, Announces VA Drug Supplier Deal.
(-) PRG, Downgraded by Sandler 0'Neil to Hold from Buy.
(-) FCAL, Downgraded by Raymond James to Market Perform from Outperform.
(-) AVID, Expects Lower Q1 Rev.