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US open: Stocks extend gains after raft of economic data

03 Sep 15

LONDON (ShareCast) - (ShareCast News) - US stocks rose on Thursday on the back of an upbeat session in Asia.
Just after 1500 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 89.23 points to 16,440.61, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were 15 and 33 points higher respectively.

Thursday data

The number of unemployment benefits claimants in the US rose last week, figures released on Thursday showed.

According to the Labor Department, new claims rose by 12,000 to 282,000 in the last week of August, to reach the highest level in two months, although initial claims remained at very low levels, a sign companies aren't laying off many workers.

The figure was higher than analysts' expectations for a 275,000 reading.

According to data released by the Commerce Department, the trade deficit fell 7.4% month-on-month in July to a seasonally adjusted $41.9bn compared with analysts' expectations of $41.8bn.

Meanwhile, the ISM non-manufacturing reading for August declined to 59% from 60.3% in July, against expectations of a 58% reading.

Relief in Asian markets

Most Asian equity markets closed higher, driven by strong gains in Japanese stocks.

With markets in China and Hong Kong closed until next week for a national holiday, Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.48% to 18,182.39, buoyed by solid gains on Wall Street in the previous session.

"The biggest issues facing the US are outside of its control, and the excessive references to China in the Beige Book suggests that the Fed will be cautious of increasing interest rates, and this is coaxing out the buyers," said IG's market analyst David Madden.

In company news, biotech group Geron surged 16.7%, after saying late on Wednesday the New England Journal of Medicine would publish two reports showing positive results for its imetelstat drug.

Bank of America edged 1.04% higher after proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co advised shareholders to vote against a proposal that would let the bank's chief executive, Brian Moynihan, keep the title of chairman.

Warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale climbed 0.26% after saying late on Wednesday sales in stores open last year rose significantly during the financial year.

Elsewhere, European stocks rose on Thursday, while oil prices edged higher, with West Texas Intermediate gaining 0.75% to $46.60 a barrel, while Brent rose 0.16% to $50.58 a barrel.

The dollar rose 0.20% and 0.73% against the pound and the euro respectively but lost 0.57% against the yen, while gold futures shed 0.94% $1,123.00.

Note 1: Prices and trades are provided by Digital Look Corporate Solutions and are end of day values only.


Market Data

Currency US Dollars
52 Week High $324.08
52 Week Low $239.58
Shares Issued 439.63m
Market Cap $124,999m


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