Stocks rallied across the board on Thursday in a slew of economic data and key earnings reports that left investors cautiously optimistic.
The Department of Commerce released durable goods data for June that indicated a 4.2 increase in orders during the month, a healthy premium on expectations of a 1.4 percent gain, while growth for the month of May was revised upwards from 3.6 percent to 5.2 percent, largely on the strength of the transportation sector.
Meanwhile, initial jobless claims for the week ended June 19 showed claims rising to 343,000, from last week’s already upwardly revised 336,000, and a touch above consensus estimates of 340,000, while continuing claims for the week ended July 13 fell more than expected to just under 3 million.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 added 0.26 percent to close the day not far from all-time highs at 1,690.25, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.09 percent to 15,555.61 points, and the NASDAQ jumped 0.71 percent to finish at 3,605.19.
Medical equipment company Boston Scientific (BSX) helped to lead the S&P higher, closing the day on a gain of 12 percent to $10.83 on high volume as the company reported earnings that well exceeded consensus expectations. Gas pipeline operator Oneok Inc. (OKE) rose over 25 percent to close at $53.77 after the Oklahoma-based company announced that it would spin off its utility business into a standalone company.
The NASDAQ was lifted by a strong performance from tech stocks, led by Facebook’s (FB) meteoric 29 percent advance throughout the day that saw the stock at $34.36, after the company’s earnings report released the previous evening indicated far better results than had been expected. QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM) , Baidu Inc. (BIDU) and Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) all ended the day higher.
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