Wall Street fluctuated and capped higher Thursday, led by energy and banking shares, as oil rallied and concerns on higher borrowing costs got eased.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and American Express Co. led gains in the Dow Jones Industrial Average as the benchmark 10-year note climbed, sending its yield lower for the first time in five days and the auction of 7-year note was welcomed by investors.
Energy stocks gained momentum and climbed strongly, as oil topped 65 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after OPEC predicted a recovery in demand.
In economic data, the U.S. Commerce Department said orders for durable goods rose by 1.9 percent in April, more than four times the 0.4 percent increase that had been expected.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to a seasonally adjusted 623,000 last week. That was below analysts expectations of 635,000. But the number of people continuing to receive unemployment benefits rose to a new record.
Negative housing data hit homebuilders. The Commerce Departments aid new home sales rose 0.3 percent in April, worse than expected1.1 percent increase.
Moreover, the Mortgage Bankers Association said the U.S. delinquency rate jumped to a seasonally adjusted 9.12 percent and the share of loans entering foreclosure rose to 1.37 percent. Both figures are the highest in records going back to 1972.
In corporate news, GM, the U.S. biggest automakers, reached an amended debt-for-equity deal with bondholders. Accordingly, GM bondholders will start with 10 percent equity, with 7.5 percent more when GM's market cap reaches 15 billion U.S. dollars and 30 billion dollars. However, it might still not spare the company from bankruptcy.
The Dow Jones rose 103.78, or 1.25 percent, to 8,403.80. Broader indexes also moved higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 13.77, or 1.54 percent, to 906.83; and the Nasdaq rose 20.71,or 1.20 percent, to 1,751.79.