After moving mostly higher over the course of morning trading on Thursday, stocks saw considerable volatility in the final hour of trading. The markets managed to end the day on the upside amid optimism about the likelihood of further stimulus.
Housing stocks saw considerable strength on the day, resulting in a 2.9 percent gain by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. M/I Homes (MHO) posted a standout gain, rising by 8.4 percent after ending the previous session at its worst closing level in over a month.
Significant strength was also visible among natural gas stocks, which moved higher along with the price of natural gas. With natural gas for July delivery jumping $0.31 to $2.495 per million BTUs, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index advanced by 2.4 percent.
Biotechnology stocks also moved sharply higher on the day, driving the NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index up by 2.1 percent. InterMune (ITMN), Dendreon (DNDN), and Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) turned in some of the sector's best performances.
Tobacco, health insurance, commercial real estate, and banking stocks also posted notable gains, moving higher along with most of the major sectors.
The major averages all ended the day in positive territory, offsetting the losses posted in the previous session. The Dow jumped 155.53 points or 1.2 percent to 12,651.91, the Nasdaq rose 17.72 points or 0.6 percent to 2,836.33 and the S&P 500 climbed 14.22 points or 1.1 percent to 1,329.10.
by RTT Staff Writer
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