US stocks finished higher on Thursday on better than expected initial claims data and upbeat revenue forecast by Procter and Gamble. Stocks also got a boost after Treasury's auction of $12 billion in reopened 30-year bonds generated stronger-than-expected demand.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 80.26 points or 0.84% to finish at 9,627.48. The S&P 500 added 10.77 points or 1.04% to end at 1,044.14. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 23.63 points or 1.15% to 2,084.02.
A release by Department of Labor on Thursday showed number of Americans filing first- time claims for unemployment benefits fell 4,000 to 621,00 in the week ending September 5. Economists expected jobless claims to drop to 560,000. The four-week average of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims, a less volatile gauge, increased 4,000 to 631,250. Continuing claims for the week ending August 29 dropped 15,000 to 6.74 million.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the U.S. trade deficit widened by 16.3% in July to $32.0 billion.
Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS
), the largest US theme park operator, jumped $1.41 or 5.23% to close at $28.36.
Shares of Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG
) soared $2.28 or 4.24% to $56.04 after the consumer giant said Thursday that it expects to report fiscal 2010 earnings in the range of $3.99 to $4.12 a share. The consumer giant also said that organic sales in the fiscal second quarter, which starts in October, will increase 1 percent to 4 percent.
AT&T (NYSE: T
) surged 62 cents or 2.39% to $26.56.
Late on Wednesday, Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN
) hiked its revenue and earnings guidance. The company said it now expects to report revenue in the range of $2.73 billion to $2.87 billion, compared to prior forecast in the range of $2.5 billion to $2.8 billion.The company also said that it now expects earnings in the range of 37 cents a share to 41 cents a share, compared with previous forecast in the range of 29 cents a share to 39 cents a share. Shares of the chipmaker dropped 14 cents or 0.56% to $25.
Monsanto Co (NYSE: MON
) affirmed on Thursday that 2009 ongoing earnings would come in at the low end of its previously announced range of $4.40 to $4.50, for the year ended August 31.