Closing Bell: Stocks Gain for Third Straight Day on Upbeat Economic News

Market Continues To Bounce Back On Good Economic Data
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Stocks edged higher for the third straight day Thursday after several economic reports provided more evidence of an improving economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 6 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 14,937, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) edged up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,655 and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) added added 9 points, or 0.3 percent, at 3,658.

The ADP National Employment report showed private employers added 176,000 jobs in August, nearly matching expectations for a gain of 180,000 jobs, while weekly initial jobless claims fell more than expected to a seasonally adjusted 323,000.

Separately, the Institute for Supply Management's read on the service sector rose more than expected in August, while factory orders fell less than had been anticipated.

Some retail stocks were among the biggest gainers in Thursday's trading.

Costco (COST) rose 2.8 percent to $114.62 after the discount store chain said revenue at stores open at least a year rose 4 percent in August, slightly faster than Wall Street expectations. Walgreen Co. (WAG) also gained after reporting a strong rise in sales last month. Shares of Walgreen rose 1.4 percent to $50.19 after reporting a 4.8 percent increase in sales.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is exiting the student loan business, saying it doesn't see meaningful growth in the private market for education loans. The New York lender will stop accepting student loan applications after Oct. 12, and focus more on auto lending and other businesses where it expects more growth.

More Stocks in the News:
  • J.C. Penney (JCP) is reportedly dumping the Martha Stewart (MSO) brand, after sales of the home maven's goods failed to live up to expectations.
  • Conn's (CONN), a consumer finance company, fell nearly 12 percent to $60.36 after the company reported second-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street expectations.
  • Groupon (GRPN) added 3.6 percent to $10.66 after Morgan Stanley (MS) raised its recommendation on the stock to "overweight" as the company tweaked its business model.
  • Louisiana-Pacific (LPX), a building-products company, rose 11 percent to $16.94 after the company said late Wednesday that it is buying Ainsworth Lumber of Canada for $1.1 billion.
  • Fastenal (FAST), rose 6 percent to $48.60 as the best performer on the S&P 500 after the seller of industrial and construction supplies reported a 2.5 percent jump in August net sales as well as an increase in customers.
  • In merger news, Otsuka Pharmaceutical agreed to buy U.S. cancer firm Astex Pharmaceuticals for $886 million while Sweden's SKF agreed to acquire Kaydon for $1.25 billion. Astex (ASTX) rose x.34 percent to $8.55 while Kaydon (KDN) jumped 23 percent to $35.54.
What to Watch Friday:
  • Smithfield Foods (SFD) reports corporate quarterly earnings.
  • The Labor Department releases employment data for August at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • It's closing day of the G20 global economic summit. Discussions are expected to focus on taxes, trade and the Fed's "tapering" and its effect on the world economy.
-Compiled from staff and wire reports.

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Alia Goff

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September 09 2013 at 10:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

it's time to BUY the mkt b !!!!!!!

September 06 2013 at 12:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The 7 million refugees from Syria could live in those empty cities investors built in China to hide their assets.

September 05 2013 at 11:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

The economy will pay for all this outsourcing and displacement of workers. The constant changes in technology comes too fast for the populace to absorb. Wait until the down sizing begins in China and other heavily populated countries the investors won't no which way to turn. With out stability in the job market nothing else will last for long.

September 05 2013 at 11:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The stock market is feeding off the investments offshore while trouble brews at home. It's the Global inbalance that will destablize the over extended party that has been going on too long. China has yet had their wake up call but all this come to pass in due time.

September 05 2013 at 10:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

La te da doing the Obizzel shuffle........

September 05 2013 at 7:59 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

No president on earth could clean up the mess bush jr. left this country in. President Obama is doing a wonderful job especially for the mess it was in. Now if you want to end social security and medicare vote republican, for you will get what you vote for. On social security and medicare thank a democrat.

September 05 2013 at 7:39 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to toosmart4u's comment

I'm especially frightened when I read partisans who actually think Obama is doing a good job. I also enjoy the talking points they share with us like this imbecile who seems to think that the economy tanked all because of George Bush. How some low information voter could possibly imagine that one President could do all these terrible things is beyond me. Try reaching back a little and taking a look at the obvious things done by previous Presidents and Congress over the years. You'll find they add up to where we are now.

September 05 2013 at 8:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bheckel169's comment
Hello Bob

Yeah, Ronald Reagan ballooned the defense budget and because of that the US debt sky rocketed. Add to that the Bush /Cheney reign of terror and the Republicans have bankrupted the country. It will take a hundred years to clean up the Reagan, Bush Sr, Bush/Cheney mess. No one president, Republican or Democrat can do it.

September 05 2013 at 8:58 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down

That's pretty much what the man said that signed NAFTA so that leaves both parties in trouble.

September 05 2013 at 11:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

6 points is hardly upbeat. The Market had dropped about 1,000 points lately so 3 small profits in a row is hardly upbeat Now the maket dropped like it did because of bad market news and the signs that we again are going to war The worst news though was that people were takking all their money from banks

September 05 2013 at 7:34 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Mingo's comment

The economy was better in the 1980's when the BLS wasn't stuffing the job numbers with foreign nationals with visas like H1B, H2B, or other noncitizen workers. When the real size of the workforce can no longer be ignored the pacifying the jobless mob the beancounters and false optimism will rock your world.

September 05 2013 at 11:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Every H1B and H2B ect will get to fight for this nation meanwhile all those non draftable older people will have more job opportunities. Enjoy the war!

September 05 2013 at 11:20 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

upbeat news????..umm the unemployment is stil AWFUL and THE only jobs their adding are part timers..thanks to the liberal loons and Obummercare

September 05 2013 at 6:37 PM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to oirishclover's comment

Don't worry they will just remove more people from the workforce electronically then unemployment will drop as far as they are concerned.

September 05 2013 at 11:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment

I bet the BLS can just erase more people with the new Iphones while they take extended martini lunches and hit the golf course for most of the year.

September 05 2013 at 11:27 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down


September 05 2013 at 5:49 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply