US stocks surge amid mixed data, upbeat earnings

New York, Oct 16 (IANS) US stocks posted solid gains on Thursday, as Wall Street assessed mixed economic data and positive earnings reports from big banks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 217.00 points, or 1.28 percent, to 17,141.75. The S&P 500 jumped 29.62 points, or 1.49 percent, to 2,023.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index spiked 87.25 points, or 1.82 percent, to 4,870.10, reported Xinhua.

The US Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers decreased 0.2 percent in September on a seasonally adjusted basis, in line with market consensus, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

The index for all items less food and energy (core CPI) increased 0.2 percent in September after rising 0.1 percent in July and August. The core CPI has risen 1.9 percent over the past 12 months.

“While it may look like core inflation is moving towards that desired 2.0-percent mark with this report, the mix is not necessarily what the Fed expected,” said Sophia Kearney-Lederman, an economic analyst at FTN Financial.

In a separate report, the department announced that in the week ending October 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims decreased 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level to 255,000, below market estimates.

The October 2015 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that business activity declined for a third consecutive month for New York manufacturers. The headline general business conditions index edged up 3 points, but remained negative at minus 11.4.

Some analysts thought that the mostly soft economic data supported the case for a rate hike delay.

In corporate news, shares of Citigroup Inc. surged 4.44 percent to $52.97 apiece Thursday after the company delivered better-than-expected quarterly results.

The bank reported net income for the third quarter 2015 of $4.3 billion, or 1.35 dollars per diluted share, on revenues of $18.7 billion.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. jumped 3.04 percent to $184.96 apiece Thursday after posting quarterly earnings above estimates but revenues shy of forecast.

Overseas stock markets also increased broadly Thursday. European equities ended sharply higher, with French benchmark index CAC 40 rising 1.44 percent, as investors shrugged off the downturn in oil prices.

In Asia, Chinese benchmark Shanghai Composite Index soared 2.32 percent on improving sentiment and expectation of more growth-supportive policies.

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