(Updated with Dow figures, recent index values and recent commodity prices.)
NEW YORK (
) -- The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
on Thursday made a return closing visit above 10,000.
The Dow topped the five-figure mark, finishing up 203.8 points, or 2.1%, at 10,006 and marking the largest single-day point gain since July 15. The Dow went as high as 10,013.1 about 40 minutes before the closing bell.
gained 20.1 points, or 1.9%, to 1066.6, and the
added 49.8 points, or 2.4%, to 2105.3.
All of the stocks on the Dow, which last closed above 10,000 on Oct. 22, finished in positive territory. The biggest gainers included
, which added 5%, 4% and 3.7%, respectively.
Cisco, which closed 2.8% higher today following an earnings beat, helped boost the overall markets.
Cisco CEO John Chambers was successful in calling the bottom last quarter in his markets," says Art Hogan, chief market analyst for Jeffries. "This quarter, he was much more upbeat, not just about the bottom markets but about the middle markets."
On Wednesday, Chambers gave a hopeful but cautious assessment about the economic recovery that had Wall Street cheering.
Market gains were made across a wide swath of industries, with the Nasdaq Industrial Index adding 2.8%, the KBW Bank Index up 2.9%, and the NYSE Arca Tech 100 Index up 2.4% at the closing bell.
The rise started in the morning, after initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest since January. First-time claims fell by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 512,000 last week vs. a consensus forecast of 522,000. That's also down from the prior week's revised 532,000. Continuing claims fell to 5.75 million from a revised 5.82 million.
Boosting markets further were macro figures showing nonfarm productivity grew by an annual rate of 9.5% in the third quarter vs. consensus estimates at 6.5%.
"In these numbers today, we have those that are focused on long-term fundamentals and those that are focused on the short-term trading opportunity both looking for a positive day," says Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist for Cantor Fitzgerald.
On Friday morning, employment data will again be in focus, as the markets await nonfarm payroll and unemployment rate figures. Analysts anticipate the rate will rise to 9.9% from 9.8% in September, with 175,000 jobs slashed. With initial claims and ADP figures already in the books, one expert says investors are gaining confidence about what's in store.
"I think part of the selloff from yesterday was about lingering concerns," adds Pado. "So to get some numbers this morning that are supportive of where you had your projections is important."
"Anything over 200,000
job cuts isn't going to sit well with people," adds Kenny Landgraf, President of Kenjol Capital Management, speaking of Friday's jobs figures. "It's going to be a volatile day."
was the S&P's biggest decliner, down 20%.
Though it beat forecasts in posting earnings at 65 cents a share, the drugstore concern lost billions worth in contracts in its pharmacy benefits segment.
The top gainer on the S&P was
, which jumped 23% after the company said it will be acquired by
CPP Investment Board
for $4 billion.
The S&P Retail Index was up 1.5% after
a mix of same-store sales numbers came in, highlighted by high-end companies like
In other earnings news,
surprised with a second-quarter profit, while
Time Warner Cable
reported net income of 76 cents a share. Analysts were expecting 75 cents.
Overseas, the Bank of England maintained its key interest rate at 0.5%. After a slide before the announcement, stocks in Europe turned positive. The FTSE in London grew 0.4%, while the DAX in Frankfurt added 0.7%. In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.6%, as Japan's Nikkei fell 1.3%.
Crude oil slid 78 cents to settle at $79.62 a barrel. Gold gained $2 to settle at $1,089.30 an ounce.
--Written by Sung Moss in New York
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