U.S. stocks edged higher in early trading as market sentiment was bolstered by solid economic data.
At last check, the DJIA climbed 0.73%; the NASDAQ Composite Index gained 0.63% while the S&P 500 Index advanced 0.65%.
Weekly jobless claims fell for the week ended 22 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000 from 354,000, in the previous week, said the U.S. Labor Department. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected first time claims falling to seasonally adjusted 345,000.
According to the Commerce Department, personal income rose 0.5% in May compared to economists’ expectation for 0.2% gains. Spending in the same period rose 0.3%, which was in-line with economists’ expectation.
Spices and flavored products maker, McCormick & Company Inc. (NYSE: MKC
) reported fiscal second quarter results earlier today, which matched Street’s estimates; however, the Company slashed its full-year outlook due to weakness in industrial markets.
Shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE: CAG
) gained in early trade after the food manufacturer, posted better-than-expected earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter while revenue was mainly in-line with expectation. The Company said that its earnings were boosted by Ralcorp’s acquisition.
Shares of KB Home (NYSE: KBH
) climbed in early trade after the homebuilder reported less-than-feared quarterly loss while revenue exceeded analysts’ estimate.
In China, industrial profits climbed 15% in May, YOY, allaying concerns that the world’s second largest economy was beginning to lose its momentum.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended mainly flat but Hang Seng gained 0.50% on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rallied almost 3%.
Elsewhere in Europe, equities pared initial losses to turn higher with pan European Stoxx 600 up 0.28%, FTSE 100 gaining 0.90% while DAX edging up 0.32%, at last check.