U.S. markets are beginning to show signs of schizophrenia. One day, they are way down, the next day they are way up. Thursday was a good day for the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500, however, as all three indexes were up two percent or more.
By midday Thursday the Dow was up 2.27 pecent, or 231.51 points, to 10,963.45, while the Nasdaq was up 2.927 percent, or 70.86, to 2,451.94, and the S&P 500 was up 2.62 percent, or 29.35 points, to 1,150.11.
U.S. stocks advanced broadly on news that fewer Americans joined the unemployment line last weeks and strong earnings from Cisco, a technology bellwether, reported after the closing bell Wednesday.
Cisco was up more than 16 percent by noon ET Thursday, to $16.07, after the company surprised investors, beating expectatations in earnings and profits Wednesday.
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time fell to 395,000 last weeks, down 7,000 from a week earlier -- the first time that number has dropped below 400,000 in four months.
Analysts said it may be a sign that the job market is slow improving after a three-month slump.
On Wednesday, the Dow plunged 519.83 points on worries about Europe's debt problems and the weak global and U.S. economy.
It was the third consecutive day that the Dow moved more than 400 points either up or down -- a sure sign of volatility. The previous week, U.S. markets had their worst week since the Great Recession began in 2008.