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Stocks Rally on GDP, Jobs Data

U.S. stocks continue to ramp higher on an upwardly revised read of GDP and a drop in unemployment data.
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Updated from 12:22 p.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 stoking investor confidence. A decline in the price of crude oil and a decline in unemployment numbers also provided a boost to the markets.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

is rising 190 points to 11,692, and the

S&P 500

is climbing 11 points to 1293. The


is tacking on 24 points to 2406.

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


said it's

reorganizing senior management

. Fannie and its sister company,

Freddie Mac


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

Meanwhile, municipal bond insurer



, 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.

Showing more wear and tear was financial services provider

Lehman Brothers


, which announced it will lay off 1,500 employees, or 6% of its workforce.

In corporate earnings, home-products retailer

Sears Holding


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

Luxury retailer



, meanwhile, showed the Street rising profits and beat earnings estimates.



losses were narrower than expected. Both companies offered rosy guidance for the holiday season.

Elsewhere, construction-equipment manufacturer



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




, 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.









also announced partial evacuations from drilling operations.

Looking at Treasuries, the 10-year was down 2/32, yielding 3.77%. The 30-year was climbing 7/32 to yield 4.37%. The dollar was gaining on the euro and the pound but falling vs. the yen.

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.