U.S. stocks started mildly up on Thursday after weekly jobless claims rose more than expected, denting enthusiasm that came with higher-than-anticipated retail sales for November. After its biggest single-day jump in three months, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 26 points to 11,281. The S&P 500 added 3 points to 1,209. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 8 points to 2,557. The retail sector is mixed after reporting same store sales for November. Target, Kohls, TJX, Macys, and American Eagle are all lower. American Eagle is down 6%. Kroger and Aeropostale are both down 10% after reporting earnings. Jo-Ann Store is down 7% following earnings. Dillards, JCPenney, and Abercrombie & Fitch are all trading higher. Abercrombie is up 9%. Krispy Kreme is up 7% following earnings. Tractor Supply is modestly higher following earnings. The techs and financials are modestly higher. Blackrock is modestly higher on an upgrade. Toll Brothers is down 2% even though they easily beat earnings estimates. After the first half an hour the averages pushed higher thanks to better than expected housing sales. The Dow rose 70 points above 10300. The Nasdaq jumped 15 points. A good start to December. Through the morning the averages kept improving with the Dow rising 100 points. Then Nasdaq rose 21 points. Most sectors look good. Bond funds are actually under pressure as interest rates start to inch up. The recent highflyers likes Decker Outdoors, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Netflix, and Priceline are under selling pressure. Go figure. In the afternoon the averages remained strong trading near the highs of the day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 106 points to end at 11,362, led by a 5.5% jump in shares of Home Depot. The S&P 500 index rose 15 points, or 1.3%, to 1,221 lifted by a 2.6% gain in its financial sector. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 29 points, or 1.2%, to 2,579.
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