The S&P 500 index rose 1 percent. It plunged 9 percent since early this month as investors worried about climbing interest rates and the effects of the
Encouraging economic data helped stabilize markets. The Commerce Department said orders to
The S&P 500 added 30 points to 2,686 as of The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 221 points, or 0.9 percent, to 24,800.
The S&P 500 index had fallen for 13 out of the last 15 days, with a couple of huge losses last week and another on Wednesday. Those erased the benchmark indexes’ gains from earlier in the year. Technology companies have fared worse than others during the recent skid, and the Nasdaq composite is coming off its biggest one-day loss in seven years.
The Nasdaq surged 102 points, or 1.4 percent, to 7,211. As of Wednesday’s close it had dropped 12.3 percent from its record high in late August.
Microsoft surpassed analyst forecasts in the first quarter as it mined new revenue sources in online subscriptions, gaming and its LinkedIn professional networking service. Its stock jumped 6 percent to $108.61.
Microsoft and several other huge
Cable TV and entertainment company Comcast said it gained high-speed internet customers to cancel out a decline in video customers. The company is taking over European pay-TV operator Sky as more cable and telecom companies buy up the companies that make and distribute TV shows and movies to compete in a changing media landscape.
Comcast rose 4.1 percent to $35.53. A day earlier, media and communications companies plunged after
Visa added 1.1 percent to $135.78 after it said payment volumes climbed in the fourth quarter.
Smaller and more
The Russell 2000 index gained 20 points, or 1.4 percent, to 1,488. It’s fallen more than 15 percent since the end of August and is down 3.1 percent so far this year.
The stocks that have led the market higher recently, including utility and consumer products companies, suffered losses Thursday morning.
Markets have grown volatile since after three months of abnormally calm trading. That’s caused huge losses and a few days of big gains as well.
The French CAC 40 jumped 1 percent and
Toyota gave up 2.7 percent while airline Cathay Pacific’s shares dropped as much as 6.5 percent but ended 3.8 percent lower after it said it had discovered a data breach affecting 9.4 million passengers.
The dollar slipped to 112.35 yen from 112.44 yen. The euro fell to $1.1375 from $1.1387.
Elaine Kurtenbach in