Stocks Post Gains on Upbeat Economic Reports
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock averages climbed Thursday on optimism over an upbeat set of China trade numbers and hopeful comments on the eurozone economy.
Support also came from comments by St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard that the U.S. economy may experience strong growth this year and the next, partly thanks to the central bank's policy easing.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 81 points, or 0.6%, to 13,471.
Breadth was positive, with winners outpacing losers 25 to five.
"Despite volatile swings, the U.S. corporate sector has generated impressive gains in profits per domestic resident over the past 20 years," said Julia Coronado, an economist at BNP Paribas. "Much of this reflects how well U.S. companies have shifted their focus to and taken advantage of stronger growth prospects abroad. Alcoa's results
Still, Coronado cautioned that since much of the expansion in capital investment and hiring is occurring abroad the implications for the U.S. economy would be more muted.
All sectors in the broader market, except capital goods, traded higher. The strongest sector gainers were conglomerates, consumer non-cyclicals, energy and financials.
Volumes totaled 4.04 billion shares on the New York Stock Exchange and 1.75 billion shares on the Nasdaq. Advancers were narrowly edging decliners by a 1.9-to-1 ratio on the Big Board and 1.4-to-1 on the Nasdaq.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended Jan. 5 rose by 4,000 to 371,000, from the prior week's downwardly revised figure of 367,000. Economists were expecting claims to come in at 365,000.