Investing.com - U.S. stocks finished higher on Friday amid
optimism that the U.S. economy continues to improve on its own but
will also enjoy the support of Federal Reserve stimulus tools in
the near future.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
finished up 0.24%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.43%, while the
Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.80%.
Despite headwinds in the form of soft economic growth figures and
spotty regional manufacturing gauges, the U.S. economy is
improving, especially the labor market. which boosted spirits in
U.S. equities markets on Friday.
The Department of Labor reported Thursday that the number of
individuals filing for initial jobless claims in the U.S. last week
fell by 4,000 to 323,000, defying expectations for an increase of
8,000 to 335,000, just days after the April jobs report beat
The numbers, coupled with a string of better-than-expected earnings
reports, brought out the buyers on Wall Street Friday, especially
amid sentiment the Federal Reserve won't rush to dismantle stimulus
programs currently in place.
The Fed is currently running a monthly USD85 billion bond-buying
program known as quantitative easing, which sends stocks rising as
a side effect.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included
Hewlett-Packard, up 1.65%, UnitedHealth Group, up 1.45%, and Cisco
Systems, up 1.25%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included
Caterpillar, down 1.51%, Exxon Mobil, down 1.03%, and Alcoa, down
European indices, meanwhile, finished higher.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.44%,
France's CAC 40 rose 0.64%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished up
0.19%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.49%.
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