U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as financial shares gained and encouraging data on jobless claims and business productivity offset disappointing May retail sales.
JPMorgan Chase & Co
The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to 621,000 last week, showing the pace of the labor market deterioration eased, while non-farm productivity rose by 1.6 percent, much stronger than initially estimated in the first quarter.
As retailers reported May sales, investors sought evidence that consumers were spending again. But 63 percent of retailers posted same-store sales that fell short of Wall Street estimates, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters.
A little bit of optimism has been built into those (retail) stocks the past two weeks. That sector in particular had moved meaningfully higher, said Kevin Kruszenski, head of listed trading at KeyBanc Capital Markets in Cleveland. So some of the comps were worse than expected.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 44.03 points, or 0.51 percent, to 8,719.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 6.15 points, or 0.66 percent, to 937.91. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 11.37 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,837.29.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Costco Wholesale Corp
The S&P retail index <.RLX> fell 2.1 percent.
Energy shares rose, with Chevron Corp
Since reaching a bottom in early March, the Dow has gained 32.5 percent and the S&P has risen 38 percent.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)