Investing.com - U.S. stocks extended Thursday's gains into
Friday after investors continued to applaud strong weekly jobless
Sentiments continued to build that the U.S. economy is improving
though the Federal Reserve will keep stimulating the economy with
stock-boosting bond purchases in the coming months to be sure
recovery can stand on its own.
Stimulus tools such as the Fed's USD85 billion in monthly bond
purchases drive down interest rates to spur recovery, boosting
stock prices in the process.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished up 0.34%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.50%, while the
Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.57%.
Data released on Thursday revealed manufacturing activity in the
Philadelphia region expanded at the slowest pace in six months in
November, which fanned market expectations for the Federal Reserve
to keep its USD85 billion in monthly asset purchases in place
through early 2014.
On the flipside, the Department of Labor said Thursday that the
number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the
U.S. last week fell by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000,
beating expectations for a decline of 9,000.
The data pushed stocks higher for a second day by fueling hopes
that the U.S. economy is on the mend and will give stocks room to
rise on fundamentals, though in the meantime, Fed support will
remain for the coming months and keep prices elevated until the
U.S. central bank feels the country can stand on its own.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Boeing, up
2.29%, The Travelers Companies, up 1.45%, and Wal-Mart Stores, up
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Intel,
down 5.45%, IBM, down 1.56%, and Home Depot, down 0.82%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished largely higher.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.35%,
France's CAC 40 rose 0.58%, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.25%.
Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 0.11%.
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