Stocks opened firmly higher Thursday as investors bet that the U.K. will vote to remain in the European Union in Thursday's landmark referendum. News that U.S. jobless claims tumbled to an eight-week low, signaling strength in the labor market, also boosted sentiment. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 151 points, or about 0.9%, to 17,939, the S&P 500 index rose 16 points, or 0.8%, regaining the psychologically important 2,100 level, while the Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 38 points, or 0.8%, to 4,871. Stock futures and European stock indexes were rallying early Thursday as new polls on the British vote to exit the EU, dubbed Brexit, showed those leaning toward staying in the bloc gaining ground. The most recent survey from Ipsos Mori for the Evening Standard newspaper showed the "remain" camp swinging to a lead of 52%, compared with 48% of respondents who backed the "leave" side. Among stock movers, Macy's Inc. is expected to be in the spotlight after announcing that Jeffrey Gennette will succeed Terry Lundgren as chief executive officer in the first quarter of 2017.
Continue Reading Below
Copyright © 2016 MarketWatch, Inc.