U.S. data spurs equity rally, lifting Dow to 10th straight gain
Reuters: New York, Mar 15 2013, 02:09 IST
The Dow rose for a 10th straight day and the S&P 500 advanced to just shy of an all-time closing high on Thursday in a global equity rally spurred by data that pointed to a stronger U.S. labor market and a steadily improving American economy. The U.S. dollar rose to a seven-month high against a basket of currencies and a three-month peak versus the euro, helped by data showing the U.S. current account deficit, a broad measure of international trade, narrowed in the fourth quarter. The dollar later retreated. Wall Street followed gains that pushed European shares to a 4-1/2-year high after the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell in the latest week. A better measure of labor market trends - the four-week moving average for new claims - declined to the lowest level in five years. "Every week that claims stay down, it confirms it's not an anomaly, and this is pretty important," said Jack De Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The downward trend in jobless claims is "one of the reasons the market has been strong year to date," he said. U.S. equities have rallied since the start of the year on an improving economy and the Federal Reserve's easy monetary policy, helping push blue chip stocks to the
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