Stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Thursday after initially showing a lack of direction. The markets benefited from a positive reaction to quarterly results from Cisco (CSCO) as well as remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Most of the major sectors moved to the upside on the day, with electronic storage stocks posting particularly strong gains. Reflecting the strength in the storage sector, the NYSE Arca Disk Drive Index surged up by 3.8 percent to its best closing level in well over three months.
Housing stocks also moved sharply higher on the heels of the building permits data, driving the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index up by 3.6 percent. With the gain, the index reached a nearly four-year closing high.
Significant strength also emerged among gold stocks, which moved higher along with the price of the precious metal. With gold for December delivery climbing $12.60 to $1,619.20 an ounce, the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index rose by 3.4 percent.
Networking stocks also saw considerable strength following the news from Cisco, with the NYSE Arca Networking Index jumping by 3 percent. Software, steel, semiconductor, and oil service stocks also posted notable gains.
The major averages pulled back off their highs going into the close but remained firmly positive. The Dow rose 85.33 points or 0.7 percent to 13,250.11, the Nasdaq jumped 31.46 points or 1 percent to 3,062.39 and the S&P 500 advanced 9.98 points or 0.7 percent to 1,415.51.
With the gains on the day, the major averages broke out of the narrow range seen over the past week. The Dow and the Nasdaq reached new three-month closing highs, while the S&P 500 rose to its best closing level in over four months.
by RTT Staff Writer
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