Stocks rallied Thursday, with benchmark indexes erasing Wednesday’s decline, as reports from China, Japan and Australia boosted optimism about the global economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 273.28, or 2.76%, at 10,172.53; the S&P 500 rose 31.15, or 2.95%, closing at 1,086.84; and the Nasdaq composite was up 59.86, or 2.77%, to close at 2,218.71. All numbers are preliminary.
“About 70% of the indicators that we look at are moving in the right direction,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. which has about $90 billion in client assets. “That’s not a bad profile for an economy.”
Futures rallied after China’s exports jumped the most in six years in May, rising 48.5% from a year earlier, the nation’s customs bureau said, surpassing all 32 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Japan’s economy grew at an annualized 5% rate in the three months to March. Australian employers added workers in May for a third straight month, the statistics bureau said in Sydney on Thursday.
S&P 500 futures pared their advance after more Americans than anticipated filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign firings remain elevated even as the economy is expanding, and the trade deficit grew.
Initial jobless claims dropped by 3,000 to 456,000 in the week ended June 5, U.S. Labor Department figures showed. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected 450,000 claims, according to the median forecast. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance fell to the lowest level since 2008, while those getting extended payments climbed.
A separate report showed the trade deficit in the U.S. widened in April to the highest level in more than a year as exports fell more than imports. The gap grew 0.6% to $40.3 billion, the most since December 2008, Commerce Department figures showed Thursday. The increase signals trade will subtract from economic growth this quarter.