US stocks rally amid upbeat earnings, data

New York, Oct 23 (IANS) US stocks traded sharply higher in the morning session as McDonald’s financial results beat investors’ expectations and jobless claims data showed a strengthening labour market.

By Thursday noon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 222.47 points, or 1.30 percent, to 17,391.08, Xinhua reported.

The S&P 500 gained 25.83 points, or 1.28 percent, to 2,044.77. The Nasdaq Composite Index soared 64. 84 points, or 1.34 percent, to 4,904.96.

The shares of McDonald’s jumped over six percent in the early trading on Thursday, after the company’s quarterly earnings and revenue beat estimates as demand recovered in China.

Before Thursday’s opening bell, McDonald’s announced results for the third quarter. Its diluted earnings per share were $1.40 dollars, an increase of 28 percent from a year ago.

On the economic front, in the week ending October 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 259,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the US Labor Department said on Thursday.

Overseas, European equities traded higher on Thursday after the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged.

“As regards non-standard monetary policy measures, the asset purchases are proceeding smoothly and continue to have a favourable impact on the cost and availability of credit for firms and households,” said president of ECB Mario Draghi.

In Asia, China’s shares closed higher on Thursday with healthcare, transport and service sectors leading the gains, reversing a large fall registered during the past trading day.

US stocks ended lower on Wednesday, as Wall Street meditated on a mixed bag of quarterly results from big companies.

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