Wall Street rallies on encouraging economic data, Cisco

Wall Street rallies on encouraging economic data, Cisco

New York: US stocks jumped on Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 up for a fourth day, as economic data boosted confidence in the recovery and strong results from Cisco Systems suggested a rebound in technology spending.

The market’s advance was broad-based, and the Dow ended above 10,000 for the first time in two weeks.

Shares of Cisco, which makes computer network equipment, rose 2.8% to $23.93 and helped lead the session’s gains, a day after it posted a stronger-than-expected profit and said business was recovering.

Data showed US non-farm productivity rose more than expected in the third quarter as companies squeezed more output from a smaller pool of labour. A separate report showed fewer US workers filed new jobless insurance claims than forecast last week -- hitting a 10-month low.

The claims report boosted investor sentiment, and created “some anticipation that maybe tomorrow’s employment report may be better than expected," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

The US government is scheduled to release its key monthly jobs report Friday morning, with economists polled by Reuters forecasting a loss of 175,000 jobs in October, sharply below the 263,000 jobs cut in the previous month. But the US unemployment rate is forecast to rise to 9.9% in October from September’s rate of 9.8%, which was a 26-year high.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 203.82 points, or 2.08%, to end at 10,005.96. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 20.13 points, or 1.92%, to 1,066.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 49.80 points, or 2.42%, to close at 2,105.32.


After the bell, shares of coffee chain operator Starbucks Corp rose 1.5% to $20 as it posted quarterly results.

During the regular session, tech stocks climbed across the board, with the NYSE Arca Network index up 2.1%, while the PHLX Semiconductor index advanced 2.6%.

Shares of DuPont rose 3.7% to $33.38 after its chief executive outlined plans for growth in 2010 and after.

In deal news, IMS Health Inc agreed to be bought by TPG and CPP Investment board and helped lift the S&P Healthcare index 1.6%. The deal was valued at $5.2 billion, including the assumption of debt. IMS Health shares surged 23.3% to $20.73.

On the downside was CVS Caremark Corp, which tumbled 20.1% to $28.87 after comments from chief executive Tom Ryan on weakness in the pharmacy benefit management business.

US retail chains reported October sales that rebounded from the lows in the previous year, but more than half missed Wall Street’s increased expectations as consumers spend selectively headed into the holiday season.

The S&P retail index rose 1.8%.

Volume was below average on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1.30 billion shares changing hands, below last year’s estimated daily average of 1.49 billion, while on the Nasdaq, about 2.25 billion shares traded, just below last year’s daily average of 2.28 billion.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a ratio of 5 to 1, while on the Nasdaq, about seven stocks rose for every two that fell.