Stocks jump on economic data, Cisco

By @ibtimes on

U.S. stocks rose sharply on Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 up for a fourth day, as economic data boosted confidence in the recovery and strong results from Cisco Systems suggested a rebound in technology spending.

The market's advance was broad-based, and the Dow ended above 10,000 for the first time in two weeks.

Shares of Cisco, which makes computer network equipment, rose 2.8 percent to $23.93 and helped lead the session's gains, a day after it posted a stronger-than-expected profit and said business was recovering.

Data showed U.S. non-farm productivity rose more than expected in the third quarter as companies squeezed more output from a smaller pool of labor. A separate report showed fewer U.S. workers filed new jobless insurance claims than forecast last week -- hitting a 10-month low.

The claims report helped, and created some anticipation that maybe tomorrow's employment report may be better than expected, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

The U.S. government is scheduled to release its key monthly jobs report Friday morning, with economists polled by Reuters forecasting a loss of 175,000 jobs in October, sharply below the 263,000 jobs cut in the previous month. But the U.S. unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 9.9 percent in October from September's rate of 9.8 percent, which was a 26-year high.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> jumped 203.82 points, or 2.08 percent, to end at 10,005.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 20.13 points, or 1.92 percent, to 1,066.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 49.80 points, or 2.42 percent, to close at 2,105.32.

Tech stocks climbed across the board, with the NYSE Arca Network index <.NWX> up 2.1 percent, while the PHLX Semiconductor index <.SOXX> advanced 2.6 percent.

Shares of DuPont

rose 3.7 percent to $33.38 after its chief executive outlined plans for growth in 2010 and after.

In deal news, IMS Health Inc agreed to be bought by TPG and CPP Investment board and helped lift the S&P Healthcare index <.GSPA> 1.6 percent. The deal was valued at $5.2 billion, including the assumption of debt. IMS Health shares surged 23.3 percent to $20.73.

On the downside was CVS Caremark Corp , which tumbled 20.1 percent to $28.87 after comments from Chief Executive Tom Ryan on weakness in the pharmacy benefit management business.

U.S. retail chains reported October sales that rebounded from the lows in the previous year, but more than half missed Wall Street's increased expectations as consumers spend selectively headed into the holiday season.

The S&P retail index <.RLX> rose 1.8 percent.

(Additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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