U.S. Stocks Roll for Third Day as Economic Data Strengthen
NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks rallied for a third straight day as U.S. jobless claims fell and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell said the economy was showing signs of finally turning-around.
The S&P 500 gained 0.62% to close at 1,613.20. The gauge has risen 2.6% since Monday though it remains poised to decline 1% for June, which would make it the S&P's first monthly decline since October.
Powell, a member of the Fed's all-important policy-setting panel, the Federal Open Market Committee, told an audience at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington that "the first reduction in purchases, when it comes, will be an acknowledgement of the economy's progress and a sign of the Committee's confidence in the path to full recovery."
Indeed, data released earlier today showed consumer spending had increased while pending home sales surged as buyers rushed to take advantage of favorable financing conditions before they tightened.
"You have had this 'Federal Open-Mouth Committee' driving markets, but the attempt I think has been to calm markets by explaining what they are all trying to say but it has probably caused as much confusion as anything else," Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist for Charles Schwab, said in an interview.
The Department of Labor Thursday reported that initial jobless claims in the week ended June 22 decreased 9,000 to 346,000. Economists on average were expecting jobless claims of 345,000. The four-week moving average was 345,750, a decline of 2,750.