NEW YORK: US stocks rose for the first time in six days on Thursday after some encouraging jobs and housing market data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 55.04 points (0.36 percent) to 15,328.30. The broad-based S&P 500 tacked on 5.90 points (0.35 percent) at 1,698.67, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index increased 26.33 points (0.70 percent) to 3,787.43.
The gains snapped a five-day losing streak on the Dow and S&P 500.
The market was "bound for a recovery," said Bill Lynch, director of investment for Hinsdale Associates.
"People feel it might be an opportune time to maybe nibble in stocks and create some position."
The buying came on the heels of the Labour Department's report that new claims for unemployment benefits sank by 5,000 to 305,000 last week. Analysts had predicted jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, had increased to 325,000.
Pending home sales fell 1.6 percent in August, but that was less than the 2.3 percent decline expected.
Social networking giant Facebook rose 1.9 percent, closing above US$50 for the first time at US$50.39. Jefferies raised its earnings estimate for the company and said Facebook is "laying the foundation" to launch a new video ad product that could be a billion-dollar business.
Online merchant eBay shot up 4.5 percent after announcing the US$800 million acquisition of Braintree, a global payment platform.
Dow component JPMorgan Chase edged up 0.4 percent following a meeting between chief executive Jamie Dimon and US Attorney General Eric Holder.
The two parties discussed a possible US$11 billion the bank would pay to settle a slew of alleged banking violations, a source close to the matter said.
Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly fell 3.0 percent after reporting that trials of its ramucirumab treatment for metastatic breast cancer "did not meet its primary endpoint."
Car-rental company Hertz sank 16.1 percent after trimming its full-year guidance on weaker-than-expected demand in the US airport rental market. Net income per share is now forecast at US$1.68-US$1.79, a full 10 cents below the range given in February. Rival Avis Budget Group dropped 6.8 percent. -- AFP