U.S stocks rise on jobs data, hopes stimulus to stay; Dow gains 0.24%


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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 expectations.

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 1.02%.

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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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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