GDP Reading Brings Out the Bulls - TheStreet

GDP Reading Brings Out the Bulls

U.S. stocks continue to ramp higher on a revised read of GDP that beats economists' forecast for economic growth.
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Updated from 9:40 a.m. EDT

Stocks in New York continued their upward march Thursday following the release of better-than-anticipated GDP data, a bullish economic read that's boosting investor confidence.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

is rising 142 points to 11,645, and the

S&P 500

is climbing 11 points to 1293. The

Nasdaq

is tacking on 16 points to 2399.

On the economic-data front, the Bureau of Economic Analysis' second-quarter GDP number was revised upward, assuaging fears that the economy is veering toward reflection. The updated number reflected growth of 3.3% rather than an initial reading of 1.9%. The new figure was well ahead of analysts' forecast of 2.7%. Jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 23 came in at 425,000, in line with expectations and down from 435,000 in the previous week.

After the market close Wednesday, struggling mortgage finance company

Fannie Mae

(FNM)

said it's

reorganizing senior management

. Fannie and its sister company,

Freddie Mac

(FRE)

, have been at the center of the financial storm stemming from mortgage-related credit losses.

Meanwhile, municipal bond insurer

MBIA

(MBI) - Get Report

, which has suffered after losing its triple-A credit status earlier this year, said it would back $184 billion in bonds for Financial Guaranty. The move, which demonstrates that the company can secure business despite its credit downgrade sent MBIA shares higher.

In corporate earnings, home-products retailer

Sears Holding

(SHLD)

announced a quarterly profit that declined from last year and missed analyst expectations.

Elsewhere, construction-equipment manufacturer

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

said it's expecting record sales this year on skyrocketing demand in China.

Automaker

Toyota

(TM) - Get Report

, on the other hand, cut its 2009 revenue projections on declining U.S. demand for its heavier vehicles.

Shifting to commodities, crude oil was falling $1.06 to $117.09. This week, traders have been monitoring Tropical Storm Gustav, which could cause supply disruptions along the Gulf Coast. Gold was adding $11.90 to $845.90.

Shell Oil

said it may curtail output as it tries to evacuate workers in its Gulf oil fields by the end of the weekend.

ConocoPhillips

(COP) - Get Report

,

Transocean

(RIG) - Get Report

and

BP

(BP) - Get Report

also announced partial evacuations from drilling operations.

Longer-dated U.S. Treasury securities were declining in price. The 10-year was down 11/32, yielding 3.8%, and the 30-year was losing 16/32 to yield 4.41%. The dollar was weakening vs. its major foreign competitors.

Overseas markets were mixed. The FTSE in London, the Dax in Frankfurt and the Nikkei in Japan traded higher, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost ground.