U.S. stocks rally after GDP report

Source: Xinhua| 2017-03-31 04:56:25|Editor: Lu Hui
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NEW YORK, March 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks ended higher Thursday, with the Nasdaq Composite Index setting a new closing record, as Wall Street digested the country's better-than-expected revised economic growth data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 69.17 points, or 0.33 percent, to 20,728.49. The S&P 500 added 6.93 points, or 0.29 percent, to 2,368.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 16.80 points, or 0.28 percent, to 5,914.34.

U.S. real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, above market consensus of 2.0 percent, according to the third estimate released by the Commerce Department. In the third quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 3.5 percent.

On other economic news, in the week ending March 25, the advanced figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 258,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 261,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week moving average was 254,250, an increase of 7,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 246,500.

Investors were also encouraged by rising oil prices, which extended gains Thursday on reports that major oil producers may extend an output cut deal expiring by the end of June.

Meanwhile, traders kept a close eye on remarks from Federal Reserve officials.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester forecast GDP growth above 2 percent in 2017, and sees a "sustained return" to 2 percent inflation "over the next year or so." Mester also expects the Fed to raise interest rates again this year, but didn't say how many times might be likely, according to the Market Watch.