Wall Street shot higher Thursday, extending its rally into a second session as tumbling energy prices bolstered an already upbeat mood that...
NEW YORK — Wall Street shot higher Thursday, extending its rally into a second session as tumbling energy prices bolstered an already upbeat mood that followed stronger-than-expected quarterly reports from big names like JPMorgan Chase and United Technologies.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 207.38, or 1.9 percent, to 11,446.66. The Dow on Wednesday surged 276 points.
Microsoft, one of the 30 Dow stocks, rose 26 cents to close at $27.52 a share. Boeing, also a Dow stock, gained $1.34 to $66.92.
Broader stock indicators also rose Thursday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index advanced 14.96, or 1.2 percent, to 1,260.32, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 27.45, or 1.2 percent, to 2,312.30.
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Light, sweet crude fell $5.31 to settle at $129.29 a barrel; oil has dropped more than $15 in just the past three sessions. And early Thursday, three components of the Dow industrials — JPMorgan Chase, United Technologies and Coca-Cola — issued comments that generally indicated that their businesses are holding up despite sometimes difficult economic conditions.
Wall Street has had some up periods in the past few months as optimism grew — only to fall back into a downturn as worries about the financial sector and the economy have welled back up.
“The sentiment has just been so negative that even a whiff of positive news is driving the markets,” said Kevin Dorwin, principal at wealth-management firm Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough in San Francisco.
“Oil is the key factor right now because inflation has been on the top of investors’ minds and a reduction in the price of oil signals that perhaps inflation will not get out of hand. That’s very positive for both the stock and bond markets.”
A sustained drop in energy costs would be welcome news for nearly all parts of the economy. Consumers have been hard-pressed by higher fuel and food costs. Wall Street is worried they will pare their spending on discretionary items to make room in their budgets for the higher-priced necessities.