New throughout, brings prices, market activity and comments adds dateline, changes bylines NEW YORK, Oct 14 Reuters - U.S. stocks surged on Thursday as companies including Bank of America and UnitedHealth gained following strong results while data on labor market and inflation soothed worries about the outlook for higher rates.
The technology sector provided the S&P 500 its biggest boost with gains for shares of Google parent Alphabet, Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Microsoft Corp. Gains were large-based, with the small cap Russell 2000 index increasing about 1.5%.
Citigroup, Bank of America Corp and Morgan Stanley topped quarterly earnings estimates as the rebounding economy allowed them to release additional cash held for pandemic losses while sizzling deals, equity financing and trading added to profits also increased.
Bank of America shares were up more than 4%.
UnitedHealth Group Inc rose 4.2% after the health insurer reported results and raised its adjusted profit forecast on strength from its Optum unit that manages drug benefits in full-year 2012.
Adding to optimism, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week close to a 19 month low and a separate report showed producer prices eased in September.
Some of the things that worried the market in September, and even last week, as far as inflation aspect and higher interest rates and the Delta variant I think maybe have lessened, said Alan B. Lancz Associates Inc. an investment advisory firm based in Toledo, Ohio.
Not that it's all over, but at a temporary scale at least you can make a case for it trending in the right direction. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to 34,920 points, or 1.58%, over 542.25 losses. 06, the S&P 500 gained 75.07 points, or 1.72%, to 4,438. 87 and the Nasdaq Composite added 255.23 points or 1.75% to 14,826. Also in earnings, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc jumped after the drugstore chain reported fourth-quarter revenue and forecasted profit above estimates and adjusted growth of 11% to 13% in long term.
Advancing issues edged declining ones on the Nasdaq by a 4.02 - to -1 ratio, while on the NYSE a 2.29 - to - 1 ratio favored advancers.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite recorded 31 new 52 - week highs and no new lows. The S&P 500 posted 31 new highs and 38 new lows.