This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Stocks Climb on China Data, J.C. Penney CEO Speculation

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks posted their first gains of the week on Thursday as investors cheered China's stronger-than-expected trade numbers for both exports and imports.

The S&P 500 rose 0.39% to close at 1,697.48 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.18%, to 15,498.32. The Nasdaq climbed 0.41% to close at 3,669.12.

Data revealed Chinese exports rose 5.1% in July, which was up from a 3.1% decline in June.

"It's [the market] largely ending where the futures were after China announced the import/export data," said Michael Gayed, chief investment strategist at Pension Partners LLC. "It's simply follow through."

In company news, JC Penney (JCP) was one of the top performers on the S&P after activist billionaire investor Bill Ackman increased pressure on the company to find a new chief executive to replace current head, Myron Ullman. Shares of the department store added 6.7% to $13.66.

The Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 3 rose to 333,000, up 5,000 from the prior week's revised print but below what economists polled by Thomson Reuters anticipated. The four-week moving average dipped to 335,500, which was near its lowest level since the recession began in late 2007.

Despite the upbeat data from jobless claims's moving average, Neil Hennessy, chief investment officer of Hennessy Funds, said companies are still making moves that aren't helping cut the unemployment rate. Those moves include initiating dividends, raising dividends, buying back stock, investing in internal infrastructure or making acquisitions.

"Now, that is all good for the stock market, really good for the stock market going forward, [but] it's not good for unemployment," said Hennessy. "People are still very fearful of March of 2009; it's still at the front of their [brains], they don't believe this [rally] is long term. So any time you get a rally and [investors] start to look, they say, 'Well, OK, I'm up or I'm back to even, I'm getting out.'"

Also adding to improving investor sentiment may be growing belief among traders that the Federal Reserve won't scale back its monetary stimulus as early as expected.

"The probability of September is almost out just given that it's still a weak market," said Alfonso Esparza, senior currency analyst at OANDA.

Shares of Tesla Motors (TSLA - Get Report) surged 14.3% to $153.48 after the electric car maker posted second-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' expectations. The company reported earnings of 5 cents a share on revenue of $405 million, while analysts were looking for a loss of 17 cents on revenue of $383.4 million.

Shares of Groupon (GRPN - Get Report) soared 21.7% to $10.61 after the board named Eric Lefkofsky as its chief executive and after the company reported earnings of 2 cents a share on revenue of $608.7 million, which slightly beat expectations. Groupon cited strong mobile purchases among North American users in the quarter.

Newmont Mining (NEM - Get Report) was one of the top gainers on the S&P as the gold mining company was riding a boost in gold prices on Thursday. Shares jumped 8.7% to $28.78.

"You got the dollar index down ... that's definitely going to help out the metals, and it's helping, actually, most of the commodities across the board," said Phil Streible, senior commodities broker at RJO Futures.

CenturyLink (CTL - Get Report) fell 5.6% to $34.36 after the company said it expects a profit of 59 cent to 64 cents a share on $4.5 billion to $4.55 billion in revenue. These numbers were slightly softer against a consensus among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters looking for 65 cents a share on $4.52 billion in revenue.
1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
CTL $30.95 0.00%
GRPN $3.62 0.00%
NEM $34.97 0.00%
TSLA $240.76 0.00%
AAPL $93.74 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,773.64 -57.12 -0.32%
S&P 500 2,065.30 -10.51 -0.51%
NASDAQ 4,775.3580 -29.9330 -0.62%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs