Stocks Stay Hot, Buoyed by Positive Data on Jobs, Sales

Western Digital paces stocks in the IW 50.

U.S. stock markets surged Thursday, buoyed by promising data on U.S. job creation in June as well as a solid gain in retail sales for the month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 93.47 points (0.74%) to 12,719.49.

The broader S&P 500 rallied 14.00 points (1.05%) to stand at 1,353.22, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 38.64 points (1.36%) to 2,872.66.

Stocks jumped on encouraging jobs data from the payrolls firm ADP, its monthly index showing that private non-farm businesses added 157,000 jobs in June, a solid jump after the weak 36,000 increase from April to May.

Adding to the buying strength was a report showing that U.S. chain-store sales rose by 6.9% in June from a year earlier, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

"This session's bullish bias has been bolstered by a better-than-expected ADP Employment Report, which portends a positive reading for the official nonfarm payrolls report on Friday," said analysts at Briefing.com.

The government releases its data for June on job creation and unemployment on Friday, and investors and economists eagerly await it as one of the key indicators of how the overall economy is performing.

Western Digital Up 3%

Among stocks on IndustryWeek's 2010 IW 50 Best Manufacturers list, Western Digital Corp. posted the biggest percentage gain Thursday, jumping 3% to $38.51 per share.

The Irvine, Calif.-based hard-drive manufacturer, ranked No. 2 on the 2010 IW 50, will rise to the No. 1 spot on the IW 50 when the 2011 IW 50 rankings are published later this month.

JP Morgan Chase rose 2.1% despite news it would have to pay $228 million to settle accusations in a muni-bond price-fixing scandal that also involve Bank of America and UBS.

Research in Motion added 4.8% after it tweeted the news that it had added 1 million subscribers in the Europe-Middle East-Africa region in under three weeks.

Shares of pharmaceuticals giant Pfizer lost 2.9% after the company announced it would sell its animal health and infant nutrition businesses, saying "their value may be best maximized outside the company."

The businesses brought in revenues together of $5.5 billion last year.

Bond prices fell in the wake of an increase of the key euro interest rate by the European Central Bank.

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rose to 3.15% from 3.10% late Wednesday, while that on the 30-year bond climbed to 4.37% from 4.35%. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011


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