US stocks forged higher Thursday as weaker-than-expected economic news fuelled hopes the Federal Reserve will continue to keep its foot on the stimulus pedal.
NEW YORK: US stocks forged higher Thursday as weaker-than-expected economic news fuelled hopes the Federal Reserve will continue to keep its foot on the stimulus pedal.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 21.73 points (0.14 per cent) at 15,324.53, rebounding from the prior day’s losses.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 6.05 (0.37 per cent) to 1,654.41, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 23.78 (0.69 per cent) at 3,491.30.
New claims for unemployment insurance benefits unexpectedly rose last week, by 10,000, and pending home sales edged up 0.3 per cent in April, when 1.5 per cent was forecast.
First-quarter economic growth was revised slightly downward, to 2.4 per cent. Analysts thought it would hold unchanged at 2.5 per cent.
“The lacklustre reports may have helped to alleviate some recent concerns about the Fed possibly reducing the pace of its asset purchases in the near future,” said Charles Schwab & Co.
NV Energy soared 22.5 per cent to US$23.62 after Berkshire Hathaway unit MidAmerican Energy announced it would buy the Nevada power company for US$5.6 billion. MidAmerican offered US$23.75 per share.
Berkshire’s B shares were up 1.6 per cent.
Facebook rebounded 5.3 per cent on upgrades from two analysts after Wednesday’s sharp fall over worries about its advertising business.
Advertisers had voiced concerns after their ads popped up next to Facebook page content viewed as offensive and tasteless.
Dish Networks’s increased bid for broadband carrier Clearwire — countering a bid from Sprint — sent Clearwire shares jumping 29.3 per cent to US$4.50. Dish rose 0.7 per cent.
Dish offered US$4.40 per share to counter Sprint’s revised US$3.40 per share offer last week.
Cloud computing and data services firm EMC gained 5.4 per cent after announcing it would begin paying dividends and expand its share buyback program.
Bond prices were little changed. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury held at 2.12 per cent while the 30-year rose to 3.29 per cent from 3.27 per cent late Wednesday. Bond prices move inversely to yields.
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