Profits send stocks higher
Encouraging news about the job market and higher profits from CBS, Facebook and other companies sent stock prices higher on Wall Street.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 130 points, or 0.9 percent, to close at 14,831 Thursday, wiping out nearly all of its 138-point fall the day before.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 climbed 15 points, or 0.9 percent, to 1,597.
The Nasdaq rose 41 points, or 1.3 percent, to 3,340 points.
CBS and Facebook rose after reporting income that was better than Wall Street analysts had been expecting.
The Labor Department reported that applications for unemployment benefits fell to a five-year low last week.
Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly below average at 3.4 billion shares.
US jobless claims fall to 5-year low of 324,000
Unemployment applications fall
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to seasonally adjusted 324,000, the lowest since January 2008. The drop points to fewer layoffs and possibly more hiring.
The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell 18,000, the second straight sharp drop. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, plummeted 16,000 to 342,250, close to a five-year low.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they fall below 350,000, it is generally consistent with moderate hiring.
GM 1Q profit falls 14 percent; new pickups key to year
New trucks key for GM
New cars were key for General Motors’ in the first quarter. New trucks will be the key to the rest of this year.
Two new Opels — the Mokka subcompact SUV and Adam small car — helped GM stanch its first-quarter losses in Europe, while the Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Malibu sedans took China by storm. GM’s worldwide sales rose almost 4 percent in the first three months.
Now GM’s fortunes rest on the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups. The trucks, which were last updated in 2007, go on sale in a few weeks. GM hopes to cut into Ford’s lead in the pickup segment, which is red-hot due to a recovery in the housing and construction markets.