[Chart courtesy of MarketWatch.com]
The market continued its rally to a fourth day after struggling for direction earlier in the session. Two of the three major stock indexes pushed further into record high ground. The Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 rose 0.4% each. They were up as much as 0.6% apiece. The Nasdaq was only fractionally higher.
The market opened with an early boost from a larger-than-expected drop in weekly jobless claims. According to Labor Department, jobless claims dipped by 42,000 (or 11%) to 346,000 in the week ended April 6, from a revised 388,000. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 360,000. Based on these numbers, a slowdown in hiring last month may have been temporary, easing concern the labor market was taking a turn for the worse. A surprising turn in better sales from retailers also gave investors more encouragement.
19 out of 24 industries in the S&P 500 gained. Retailers jumped the second most, rallying 1.4 percent. On the opposite side, The S&P Information Technology Index dropped 0.8 percent, after the biggest jumped since January yesterday. Personal- computer shipments plummeted in every region of the world in the first quarter as buyers opted for smartphones and tablet and Microsoft’s Windows 8 met with weak demand. Global PC unit shipments fell 14 percent. Makers of computer hardware and software fell sharply. Hewlett-Packard dropped 6 percent, Microsoft fell 5 percent and Intel 2 percent.
Looking abroad, emerging stock markets and the UK also rallied. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the largest contract producer of chips, jumped the most in more than four months in Taipei. Turkish stocks climbed and bond yields fell as Moody’s Investors Service said a peace agreement with Kurdish militants would enhance the country’s creditworthiness. Benefiting from U.S. positive job data, U.K. stocks climbed for a fourth day, putting the FTSE 100 Index on course for the biggest weekly gain in three months.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. are among companies scheduled to report earnings tomorrow. Results will have an impact on the market heading to the weekend.
Trend wise, thd surge from yesterday continued and pushed our Trend Tracking Indexes (TTIs) deeper into bullish territory with the Domestic TTI closing at +4.22% while the International TTI ended the day at +8.94%.
For all of the latest graphs and momentum figures please view the most recent StatSheet, which I will post within a couple of hours.