NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major U.S. stock markets rebounded Thursday after a five-day losing streak for the S&P 500, its longest losing streak since December, as the latest jobless claims numbers provided a constructive read on the labor market ahead of next week's widely watched monthly government jobs report. There was also hope that Washington's fiscal drama will come to a halt even if it means an eleventh hour budget deal.
"I think there's growing resonance that there's going to a budget resolution," said Tim Speiss, the New York-based partner-in-charge of the Personal Wealth Advisors Group of accounting firm EisnerAmper. "I believe what we're seeing here is that political leaders are going to reach at least an extension until Dec. 15 on the budget. So I think that's why we might be seeing some improvement in the stock market."
J.C. Penney (JCP) shares rebounded by 3% to $10.42 following reports that the troubled retailer was looking for an equity infusion, possibly as high as $1 billion, with the company finally speaking out. J.C. Penney issued a statement shortly before the market opened, meant to assuage investors' fears, saying that it is "pleased with its progress thus far in the company's turnaround efforts and the traction its initiatives are starting to achieve," by seeing "greater predictability in its performance across many areas."
Air Products ( APD ) rose 2.3% to $109.78. The company will replace its CEO John E. McGlade in 2014 and elect three new independent directors to its Board of Directors, after Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management took a large stake in the chemicals manufacturer and pressed for change.