Stocks close up on technology, consumer goods strength

Stocks rose Thursday as gains among technology and consumer goods companies offset declines elsewhere in the market.

Shares in Levi Strauss & Co surged 31 percent in their debut, giving the U.S. jeans maker a market value of $8.7 billion as it oce again is a publically traded company.

Apple shares rose, while shares of banks and health care companies were broadly lower. The shares of health care and insurnce companies re intrest rate sentive.

Biogen slumped after the drugmaker halted a trial of an Alzheimer's drug.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 34764.82 +506.50 +1.48%
SP500 S&P 500 4448.98 +53.34 +1.21%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15052.243848 +155.40 +1.04%

Boeing slipped after pressure mounted on the world's largest planemaker in Washington as U.S. lawmakers called for executives to testify about two crashed 737 MAX jets.

In economic news, initial jobless claims declined by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 221,000.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday abandoned any interest rate hikes this year and flagged an expected slowdown in the economy.

The Fed also downgraded its forecasts for  U.S. growth, unemployment and inflation.

Policymakers said the Fed's benchmark overnight interest rate was likely to remain at the current level of between 2.25 percent and 2.50 percent at least through this year.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
LEVI LEVI STRAUSS & CO. 25.42 +0.66 +2.67%
AAPL APPLE, INC. 146.83 +0.98 +0.67%
BIIB BIOGEN, INC. 293.20 +3.88 +1.34%
BA THE BOEING CO. 221.10 +4.12 +1.90%
MU MICRON TECHNOLOGY, INC. 74.04 +0.07 +0.09%

Investors will now keep a close watch on trade talks between the United States and China as top U.S. officials travel to Beijing to resume negotiations.

President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that Washington may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a "substantial period" to ensure that Beijing complies with any trade agreement.

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In Asian markets on Thursday,  China's Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.3 percent, while THong Kong's  Hang Seng index fell 0.9 percent. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday.

In Europe, the major markets ended the day mixed. London's FTSE gained 0.9 percent, Germany's DAX fell 0.4 percent and France's CAC closed unchanged.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.