FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014...
U.S. stocks jumped on Thursday, with Visa helping lift the Dow industrials into the green for October, after data showed the U.S. economy grew more than expected last quarter.
"Investors were looking at the GDP number as favorable and confirmation the economy is doing well, or well enough that the Fed should be stepping back," Paul Nolte, senior portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management, said of data from the Commerce Department, which found gross domestic product grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in the third quarter, bolstered by a smaller trade deficit and a rise in defense spending.
"Europe closed well, that helps explain some of the bounce back, and some of it may be month-end performance chasing," said Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, of Wall Street's afternoon strength.
Boockvar downplayed the notion that headlines about Japan's pension fund allocating money out of Japanese bonds and into equities helped propel the market higher, saying "that was out a week and a half ago, and why does that mean they are going to pile into the U.S. stock market?"
After a 249-point jump, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 221.11 points, or 1.3 percent, to 17,195.42, with Visa pacing blue-chip gains after the card-payment processor reported a better-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit while projecting mobile payments would increase business. The S&P 500 rose 12.35 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,994.65, with utilities and health care pacing sector gains that extended to all but the energy sector of its 10 major industry groups. The Nasdaq rose 16.91 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,566.14. For every stock falling, nearly two rose on the New York Stock Exchange, where nearly 767 million shares traded. Composite volume neared 3.6 billion.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures fell $26.30, or 2.2 percent, to $1,198.60 an ounce, and crude-oil futures declined 1.3 percent to $81.12 a barrel.
The U.S. dollar climbed against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners, and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell a basis point to 2.3061 percent.