US Shares Up on Manufacturing, Home Data; Retailers Gain

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US Shares Up on Manufacturing, Home Data; Retailers Gain

US shares gained after Wednesday’s rally, as reports showed a rise in factory output and sales of existing homes offset a surge in unemployed claims as retailers ascended on earnings results.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. increased 8.1% after adjusting upward its earnings outlook for the year. Hess Corp increased 1.8% after a deal was sealed to sell its gasoline stations and retail venture to Marathon Corp. Sears Holdings Corp. retreated 2.7% as sales for the first quarter dropped, Bloomberg reported.

In New York, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index increased 0.3% to 1,893.35 as of 10:57 am. The benchmark gauge is almost 0.2% lower than an all-time peak of 1,897.45 hit last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 25.08 points or 0.2% to 16,558.14. The Russell 2000 Index of smaller ventures surged 0.9%.  At this particular time, the volume of shares traded in the S&P 500 firms was 22% below the average for the past 30 days.

The Markit Economics preliminary gauge of US factory output added 56.2 in May from 55.4 the previous month as the pace of manufacturing increased, the London-based group said on Thursday.  A figure above 50 indicates growth and the May reading was the highest in three months. A preliminary purchasing managers’ index in China soared to a five-month high.

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Other economic data indicated that existing homes sold more in April for the first time in four months amid warm weather as the pace of price hikes reduced and more homes were offered for sale.  More Americans sought jobless benefits last week, indicating that the job market is still volatile.

Property firms in the S&P gauge rallied 2% after the previously-owned home sales report. PulteGroup Inc. surged 2.3% to $19.25 and D.R Horton Inc ascended 2.3% to $22.63.

According to ABC, Best Buy jumped 3.3% to $26.18 after it posted better-than-expected earnings.

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To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com