Stocks jumped on Thursday as jobless claims hit a 5-year low, spurring investor enthusiasm.
The consensus had expected jobless levels to rise. The U.S. dollar also climbed on the day as the euro currency recorded a sharp loss and looks to test the $1.30 level once again.
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Volatility levels on Wall Street remain low and investors were happy to see the market rebound so quickly from Wednesday's losses. The Dow and S&P 500 recorded gains of just under 1 percent while the Nasdaq climbed better than 1 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 131 points, or 0.89 percent, to 14,832.
The S&P 500 climbed 15 points, or 0.94 percent, to 1,598.
The Nasdaq Composite added 41 points, or 1.26 percent, to 3,341.
Initial jobless claims fell from 342,000 for the week ending April 20 to 324,000 for the week ending April 27. This was the lowest reading since January 2008 and fell well below consensus estimates calling for an increase to 346,000.
The continuing claims level rose to 3.019 million for the week ending April 20 from 3.007 million for the week ending April 13. This compared to consensus estimates calling for an increase to 3.050 million.
Crude oil surged along with the stock market on Thursday. Late in the day, NYMEX crude futures were up a little better than 3 percent to $93.92. Brent contracts had added a little less than 3 percent to $102.73. Natural gas plunged more than 6 percent on the day and was last trading at $4.05.
Precious metals moved higher on Thursday. COMEX gold futures were last up around 1.44 percent to $1,467.00 while silver futures had climbed 2 percent to $23.80. Copper added around 1 percent on the day.
The grain complex was mostly higher on the session. Corn futures were last up 2.36 percent while wheat had added 1 percent. Movers in soft commodities included coffee, which climbed 3.50 percent, and cotton, which added roughly 2 percent.
Near the close of equities, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE:TLT) was trading down 0.06 percent to $123.91. Bond yields were unchanged across the board on Thursday.
The U.S. dollar was sharply higher on Thursday. Near the close, the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE:UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, had jumped 0.72 percent to $22.34.
The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last down 1.17 percent to $1.3057. Other movers included the USD/JPY, which climbed 0.56 percent, and the GBP/USD which fell 0.37 percent.
Volatility and Volume
Volatility expectations fell on Thursday as the markets rose. Late in the session, the VIX was down around 6 percent to 13.63.
Volume was lighter than normal with around 85 million SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE:SPY) shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 128 million.
Yelp (NASDAQ:YELP) jumped 27 percent on Thursday after the company released bullish Q1 earnings and sales results.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) added almost 6 percent after its quarterly results were released after the closing bell on Wednesday.
Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM) fell nearly 12 percent on the session after the company disappointed investors with its first-quarter financial results.
Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU) rose 7 percent on the day after easily topping Q1 profit expectations.
Generac Holdings (NYSE:GNRC) surged almost 10 percent after reporting strong quarterly financial results and raising its revenue forecast for the year.
Halcon Resources (NYSE:HK) fell a little more than 9 percent after the company's first-quarter results.
Hornbeck Offshore (NYSE:HOS) rose almost 15 percent despite reporting a lower profit for the fiscal first-quarter.
Shares of Elizabeth Arden (NASDAQ:RDEN) climbed more than 8 percent on Thursday after the company reported upbeat Q3 numbers.
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