Stocks finished higher Thursday. The Dow jumped 216 points to 25,962 while the S&P 500 gained 30 points to 2,854. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 109 points to 7,838.
The major averages posted strong gains as strength in the Technology sector provided a tailwind to the market. The Federal Reserve also garnered attention in today’s session after policymakers left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday and signaled for no additional hikes in 2019 due to global growth concerns. On the data front, initial jobless claims fell more than anticipated to 221,000 in the most recent week. A separate survey from the Fed’s Philadelphia district showed manufacturing activity in the region rebounded in March. An additional report revealed the U.S. leading economic index ticked up 0.2% in February.
Ten of 11 S&P 500 sectors finished in positive territory as Technology stocks paced the gains. Shares of Micron climbed 9.6% to $43.99 while Apple advanced 3.7% to $195.09. Financials were the lone underperformer as declining Treasury yields pressured bank stocks. In corporate news, Biogen tumbled 29.2% to $226.88 after the biotech company revealed disappointing late-stage trial results for its Alzheimer’s drug.
Breadth was positive on issues by roughly 5:2 on the NYSE and 3:2 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.5 billion shares.
Treasuries strengthened with the yield on the 10-year note down three basis points to 2.50%, the lowest level since January 2018. In commodities, NYMEX WTI crude fell 0.7% to $59.84/barrel. COMEX gold added 0.5% to $1,308.30/ounce despite a stronger dollar.