U.S. stocks gained on Thursday, bouncing back from a a two-day rout, as investors mulled earnings from corporations including Ford Motor (NYSE:F) and data that had a less-than-expected number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits. “The macro environment is still constructive,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist for U.S. Bank Wealth Management, citing varying degrees of improvement in employment, housing, consumer confidence and manufacturing. “Forty-eight percent of S&P 500 companies offer dividend yields above the 10-year Treasury yield of 1.8 percent,” said Sandven, adding that the risk-reward equation remains ‘favorable for adding on dips.” Alibaba Group Holding (BABA) fell after the Chinese e-commerce company reported quarterly revenue short of expectations; McDonald’s (MCD) gained after the fast-food chain said its chief executive officer would be replaced by its chief brand officer March 1; Qualcomm (QCOM) dropped after the chip manufacturer cut its fiscal 2015 outlook and Ford Motor climbed after the car manufacturer’s quarterly earnings surpassed estimates. Stock futures added to gains after the Labor Department reported jobless claims dropped by 43,000 to 265,000 last week, fewer than forecast and the lowest number in nearly 15 years. However, the week included the Martin Luther King holiday, increasing the volatility of the numbers. “Jobless claims were exceptional, and reinforces what we saw in the Fed’s message yesterday, that the U.S. economy remains pretty firm,” Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, said. Stocks offered muted reaction to another report that had pending-home sales dropping 3.7 percent in December. After falling as much as 55 points and rising 147, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) was lately up 128.47 points, or 0.7 percent, at 17,319.84, with McDonald’s and Boeing (BA) leading blue-chip gains.Reversing after a drop under 2,000, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) added 7.33 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,009.49, with utilities leading gains and energy the sole laggard among its 10 major sectors.The CBOE Volatility Index (^VIX), a measure of investor uncertainty, dropped 4.9 percent to 19.44. The Nasdaq (^IXIC) advanced 10.03 points, or 0.2 percent, to 4,647.96.For every seven shares falling, eight gained on the New York Stock Exchange, where 441 million shares traded as of 1:45 p.m. Eastern. Composite volume cleared 2.4 billion. Crude futures (: @CL15G) turned lower, falling 59 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $ 43.86 a barrel and gold futures (CEC:Commodities Exchange Centre: @GC15G) dropped $ 31.30, or 2.4 percent, to $ 1,254.60 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The U.S. dollar (Exchange:.DXY) turned higher against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners; the yield on the 10-year Treasury note (U.S.:US10Y) used in figuring mortgage rates and other consumer loans rose 6 basis points to 1.7795 percent. On Wednesday, U.S. stocks declined, a day after the S&P 500 took its biggest hit in more than three weeks, as the energy sector expanded losses after U.S. crude settled at its lowest since March 2009.
Read More Stocks slammed by crude; triple-digit decline by Dow Coming Up This Week: Friday 8:30 a.m.: Fourth-quarter GDP 9:55 a.m. Consumer-sentiment index for January More From CNBC.com: Billionaire: US faces ‘massive job killing machine’ Market hurdles: Strong dollar, weak global economy Surge in 401(k) millionaires as balances hit highs
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