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Wall Street jumps amid economic data and mixed earnings

04-29-2011 10:08 BJT

NEW YORK, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. stocks overcame the impact of slightly negative economic data and closed higher on Thursday, lifted by mixed corporate earnings of the first quarter.

The markets were mixed in the early trading session on Thursday after data showed U.S. economic growth slowed and jobless claims rose.

The U.S. economy grew at a 1.8-percent annual rate in the first quarter of 2011. The reading was lower than the 3.1-percent growth rate in the last quarter of 2010, according to the Commerce Department.

The U.S. Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose by 25,000 last week to 429,000. The reading was nearly 40,000 above expectations. The four-week average rose by a steep 9,250 to 408, 500, suggesting the recovery of the job market still had a long way to go.

Meanwhile, pending home sales gained 5.1 percent in March, according to the National Association of Realtors. The reading was seen as a leading indicator of housing activity.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Wednesday that the slowdown of the U.S. economy in the first quarter was transitory. He also confirmed that the second round of quantitative easing policy will end this June as scheduled.

In corporate earnings, Procter & Gamble Co posted a profit of 2. 87 billion dollars or 96 cents per share in the first quarter, slightly below market expectations.

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly-traded company, earned 10.65 billion dollars in the first quarter, up from 6.3 billion dollars in the same period last year.

Moreover, Microsoft Corp. posted that its fiscal third-quarter net income jumped 31 percent to 5.2 billion dollars, or 61 cents per share. Results included a one-time tax benefit of 5 cents per share. Without the benefit, Microsoft earned 56 cents per share. The reading beat Wall Street's expectation.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 72.35 points, or 0.57 percent, to 12,763.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 4.82 points, or 0.36 percent, to 1,360.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 2.65 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,872.53.


Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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