FOX Business: Capitalism Lives Here
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The markets pushed higher for the first time in four days after a round of strong data on two of the world's biggest economies boosted traders' sentiment.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 26.7 points, or 0.18%, to 15498, the S&P 500 rose 6.6 points, or 0.39%, to 1697 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 15.1 points, or 0.41%, to 3669.
The Dow and S&P 500 both slide for the third day in a row on Wednesday, the longest losing streak for the stock-market barometers since June. The mood was initially lighter on Wall Street Thursday after China posted bigger-than-expected increases in exports and imports. However, the rosy sentiment faded in morning action.
Exports from the world's second-biggest economy jumped 5.1% on a year-to-year basis. Imports, meanwhile, surged 10.9%. There have been worries that China's economic growth will slow down too quickly, and hinder expansion in the broader world economy as a result. However, these data pointed to stabilization, according to economists.
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"The positive surprise from China’s July trade data, with both export and import growth exceeding consensus expectations, caught everyone’s attention," economists at Japan-based Nomura wrote in an email to clients.
On the U.S. front, the number of individuals applying for first-time jobless benefits rose to 333,000 last week from an upwardly-revised 328,000 the week prior. Economists expected claims to rise to 336,000 from an initially reported 326,000. The four-week moving average, which helps smooth volatility in the weekly readings, fell to its lowest level since November 2007.
Elsewhere, J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) revealed in a regulatory filing that the U.S. Justice Department has launched parallel civil and criminal probes into sales of mortgage-backed securities by the biggest U.S. bank by assets.
U.S. oil prices dipped 19 cents, or 0.18%, to $104.18 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.15% to $1.875 a gallon. Gold ticked up $2.60, or 0.2%, to $1,288 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 climbed 0.8% to 2817, the English FTSE 100 rose 0.4% to 6537 and the German DAX rallied 0.91% to 8335.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 slid 1.6% to 13606 and the Chinese Hang Sent ticked up 0.31% to 21656.