Dow Jones average, S&P 500 indexes rebounded on June 18,2009 as reports on jobless claims and manufacturing activities showed the recession may be near a bottom.
The U.S. Labor Department said the total unemployment insurance rolls dropped for the first time since early January by 148,000 to6.76 million, the largest drop in more than seven years and a sign that layoffs are easing.
The department also says initial claims rose 3,000 to 608,000 last week, above analysts' expectations.
The Conference Board said Thursday that its index of leading economic indicators designed to forecast activity in the next three to six months rose 1.2 percent, the biggest gain since March2004. The reading boosted market sentiment as investors considered the recession may be easing.
Moreover, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's general economic index climbed to minus 2.2, higher than anticipated, from minus 22.6 in May, showing manufacturing in the region contracted at the slowest pace in nine months.
The Dow Jones rose 57.59, or 0.68 percent, to 8,554.77. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 7.63, or 0.84 percent to 918.79 and the Nasdaq dipped 0.34, or 0.02 percent, to 1,807.37.