19 Jun 2009

Wall Street mainly higher after positive data

9:28 am on 19 June 2009

US stocks finished mostly higher on Thursday, supported by a series of relatively encouraging economic data as investors weighed a proposed overhaul of the financial regulatory system.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 53.28 points, or 0.63%, to 8,550.46 at the market close, snapping a three-day losing streak.

The tech-dominant Nasdaq ended nearly flat, losing a fractional 0.34 points, or 0.02%, to 1,807.72 and the broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 7.32 points, or 0.80%, to a preliminary close at 918.03.

Employment data was mixed but two economic indices provided encouragement to the market.

The Labor Department reported a higher than expected rise in new claims, but a surprise decline in the number of continuing claims, down from the prior week's all-time high.

The Conference Board's closely watched index of leading economic indicators, forecasting conditions in the coming months, surged for the second consecutive month with widespread increases.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's index on mid-Atlantic manufacturing activity rose for the fourth month running, in an unexpectedly sharp gain to the highest level since September.