April 23, 2009

U.S. markets climb late Thursday

U.S. markets turned higher Thursday after a slow start prompted by Labor Department news of jobless claims rising by 27,000 in the week of April 11.

The National Association of Realtors reported an increase in first-time homebuyers but an overall sales drop of 3 percent in March.

Earnings reports continue to hit markets unpredictably. Hershey Co. said profits rose 20 percent in the first quarter. United Parcel Service Inc. reported a 56 percent profit decline in its first quarter.

By close, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 70.49 points, or 0.89 percent, to 7,957.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 0.99 percent, 8.37 points, to 851.92. The Nasdaq composite index added 6.09 points, 0.37 percent, to 1,652.21.

On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,848 stocks advanced and 1,173 declined on a volume of 7.9 billion shares traded.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury bond fell 3/32 to yield 2.93 percent.

The euro rose to $1.3146, compared to Wednesday's $1.2996. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar fell to 97.81 yen, compared to Wednesday's 98.03 yen.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average rose 1.37 percent, 119.71 points to 8,847.01.

In London, the FTSE 100 index fell 0.31 percent, 12.43 points, to 4,018.23.