Investing.com - " Better-than-expected quarterly earnings coupled with advancing Chinese manufacturing data sent U.S. stocks rising on Thursday, while disappointing data out of the labor market gave stocks an added boost by stoking expectations for loose monetary policy to stick around.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.62%, the S&P 500 index rose 0.33%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.56%.
Earlier in Asia, the preliminary reading of China's HSBC manufacturing index for October rose to a seven-month high of 50.9, up from a final reading of 50.2 in September. Economists had expected the index to tick up to 50.5.
The numbers sparked demand for equities worldwide, including in the U.S., where benchmarks Ford and 3M beat earnings.
Offsetting gains, U.K.-based Markit reported that its U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index dropped to 51.1 in October from 52.8 in September, missing market calls for a 52.5 reading.
Elsewhere in the U.S., the Department of Labor reported that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits declined by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 350,000 last week. Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to fall by 22,000 to 340,000.
Earlier this week, the Department of Labor reported that U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in September, well below expectations for an increase of 180,000.
The string of disappointing jobs reports fueled already growing expectations for the Federal Reserve to continue stimulating the economy with its USD85 billion in monthly bond purchases that drive down interest rates to spur recovery, boosting stock prices in the process.
Many in recent weeks were expecting the Fed to announce plans to taper its asset purchases in late October or early December, though soft jobs numbers have market watchers pushing back estimates for a start date to tapering into 2014, which gave stocks an added bounce.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Home Depot, up 2.26%, DuPont, up 1.99%, and Visa, up 1.90%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included AT&T, down 1.86%, Verizon, down 0.79%, and Merck, down 0.76%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished higher.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 rose 0.64%, France's CAC 40 rose 0.35%, while Germany's DAX 30 rose 0.68%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished up 0.58%.
On Friday, the U.S. is to round up the week with data on durable goods orders, a leading indicator of production, as well as revised data on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.
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