Dow jumps 197 points, turns positive for 2018

Stocks rose on Thursday, pushing the Dow into positive territory for the year, as slower inflation than expected eased investors' concerns that the Federal Reserve may accelerate interest rate hikes.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 196.99 points, or 0.8%, to 24,739.53. The S&P 500 advanced 25.28 points, or 0.9%, to 2,723.07. The Nasdaq Composite was up 65.07 points, or 0.89%, at 7,404.97.

In turning positive for 2018, the Dow joined the Nasdaq and the S&P 500, which recently returned to the green following a volatile start to the year. Big gains in energy and financial stocks lifted the major averages Wednesday, sending the S&P 500 back into positive territory.

Government data published Thursday included the Labor Department's report on weekly jobless claims, which remained near a 49-year low. The U.S. consumer price index climbed 0.2% in April, falling short of the consensus estimate of 0.3%.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
SP500S&P 5003091.84+4.83+0.16%
I:DJIDOW JONES AVERAGES27691.49+0.00+0.00%
I:COMPNASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX8486.09056+21.81+0.26%

Apple continued to move higher, as shares jumped 1.4%. The stock has steadily climbed after Warren Buffett revealed that Berkshire Hathaway increased its investment in the tech giant.

Energy names also carried their momentum into Thursday amid higher oil prices. Exxon Mobil shares rose more than 2%.

Dow member UnitedHealth Group was up nearly 2%. The S&P health sector rose 1.3% on the day.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.3% to $71.36 a barrel.