U.S. stocks extend gains to sixth day

08:29, April 16, 2010      

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Wall Street extended its gains to the sixth straight day on Thursday as strong cooperate earnings and robust manufacturing data offset disappointing jobless report.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 21.46, or 0.19 percent, to 11,144.57. The Standard & Poor's 500 index inched up 1.02, or 0. 08 percent, to 1,211.67 and the Nasdaq gained 10.83, or 0.43 percent, to 2,515.69.

Major indexes opened lower on Thursday after the U.S. Labor Department said the number of people applying for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose by 24,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 484,000, the highest level since late February. The report soured market sentiment as high unemployment rate was considered as the biggest obstacle to a sustained recovery.

However, an upbeat report from UPS limited the losses. The world's largest shipping company said its profit was better than expected and raised its full-year outlook. The market paid close attention to UPS's results as they are regarded as an indicator for economic activity. UPS shares surged 5.26 percent to end the session at 68.89 dollars per share, while its rival FedEx gained 1. 71 percent to 95.62 dollars a share.

Further lifting the market higher to positive area, manufacturing data came in better than expected on Thursday. The New York Federal Reserve Bank said Thursday that its Empire State Manufacturing index soared to 31.9 in April from 22.9 in March, while manufacturing activity rose for the eighth straight month in April in the Philadelphia region, according to a survey released Thursday by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. Both readings exceeded market expectations, showing manufacturing sector was leading the country to an economic recovery.

After the market closed, searching giant Google reported first- quarter profit that fell short of some analysts'estimates, dragging its share prices down more than 4 percent in after-hour trading.

Google said its net income rose 37 percent in the first three months of the year, showing the online advertising and technology sectors are bouncing back from the recession more quickly than many other parts of the economy. However, Google's performance wasn't enough to live up to the very high expectations, which was boosted even further by strong earnings from Intel.



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