Market Overview

Stocks Rise on European Optimism, U.S. Jobless Claims


The U.S. stock market staged a strong rally from open to close on Thursday as a third straight drop in weekly jobless claims and increased optimism that a second Greek bailout will get done boosted risk appetite on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 123 points to close at 12,904. The widely watched blue-chip average traded in a range between 12,779 and 12,914.

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) jumped 1.11% to $136.05. Volume was slightly above average with around 175.7 million SPY shares trading hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 171.5 million.

The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF (NASDAQ: QQQ), which tracks the performance of the Nasdaq 100, surged 1.37% to close at $63.63. Today's close for the QQQ was the highest in over a decade, going back to the tech bubble.

Crude oil was lifted by positive economic sentiment along with continued tensions in the Middle East. NYMEX crude futures added 0.47% to $102.28 while ICE Brent contracts rose 0.99% to $120.11. In ETF trading, the United States Oil Fund ETF (NYSE: USO) gained 0.28% to $39.29.

Precious metals were slightly higher on the session. COMEX gold futures added 0.09% to $1,729.60 while silver futures registered a gain of 0.26% to $33.49. The heavily traded SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSE: GLD) slipped 0.05% to close at $168.00.

As investors reached for riskier assets, Treasuries fell on the session. The iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NYSE: TLT) lost 0.80% to $116.61. The yield on the 10-Year Note rose 5.5 basis points to 1.98%.

The U.S. Dollar fell on Thursday, helping to spark the rally in stocks. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF (NYSE: UUP), which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, lost 0.36% to $22.13. The closely watched EUR/USD pair was last trading at $1.3140 after jumping on Thursday.

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