By Dow Jones Business News,
December 26, 2013, 04:17:00 PM EDT
By Anora Mahmudova
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks rallied on Thursday, extending their record run after government data showed a
decline in weekly jobless claims.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) surged 122.33 points, or 0.8%, to 16,479.88, marking its 50th record close this
year. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) was the only component in the 30-stock index that ended in negative territory.
The S&P 500 index (SPX) added 8.70 points, or 0.5%, to 1,842.02, closing at a record level for the 44th time this
The Nasdaq Composite (RIXF) closed 11.76 points, or 0.3%, higher at 4,167.18.
The Labor Department said on Thursday that the number of Americans claiming weekly unemployment benefits for the first
time dropped by 42,000 to 338,000. However, weekly claims tend to be volatile and are distorted by seasonal changes. The
four-week average, which tries to smooth out volatility, rose 4,250 to 348,000. The overall trend indicates that jobless
claims, a proxy for layoffs, are low, and that workers are gaining confidence in the labor market.
In the bond market, the 10-year Treasury yield hit 3% on Thursday for the first time since September as rates moved
higher in the wake of the Federal Reserve decision to reduce its asset purchases. Rising 10-year yields are seen as a
sign of rising interest rates.
The Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs on Tuesday in a holiday-shortened session and were closed on Wednesday for
Christmas. Historically, markets see abnormally high returns in the trading days between Christmas and New Year's Day.
Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management Group, gave three reasons for this: portfolio
adjustments for maximizing tax benefits before year end, investor optimism associated with the holiday season or the
fact that a large number of short sellers are on vacation until the new year.
Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc. (URBN) rose 2.2%, making it one of the best performers on the S&P 500.
Shares of Twitter Inc. (TWTR) continued their meteoric rise, gaining 4.8% on Thursday, reaching their highest level
ever. They have risen more than 76% this month.
Among retailers, Fossil Group Inc. ( FOSL ) rose 1.3%, while Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. ( BBBY ) gained 1.1%. However, eBay
Inc. ( EBAY ) shares fell 2%.
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) shares rose 2.7%, extending a 5.5% gain from Tuesday when the car maker's top safety rating
was reaffirmed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
BlackBerry Ltd. (RIMM) shares slid 8.8% after news that the mobile phone maker's co-founder and co-chief executive
officer Mike Lazaridis had dropped a plan to buy the company.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index extended its six-year high, pushing above 16,000 as the yen (USDJPY) weakened against
the dollar, but China's Shanghai Composite fell on disappointment over a lack of additional cash injections from the
central bank. European markets were closed on Thursday.
Metals futures rose in thin, post-Christmas trade, with gold futures adding 0.7% and silver futures jumping 2%. Oil
futures also finished higher.
More must-reads from MarketWatch:
Jobless claims fall 42,000, biggest drop in 13 months
Jeff Reeves confesses to his stupidest investment ideas of 2013
Best day to play, 'worst-Christmas-ever' stocks and Japan a go-go
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.