U.S. stocks surge as labor market and inflation drops

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U.S. stocks surge as labor market and inflation drops

UnitedHealth jumps with strong results New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments to close NEW YORK, Oct 14 Reuters - U.S. stocks surged on Thursday as companies including Morgan Stanley and UnitedHealth gained following strong results while the data on the labor market and inflation calmed worries about the outlook for higher rates.

The technology industry gave the S&P 500 a huge boost, with shares of Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc rising.

Shares of Citigroup, Bank of America Corp and Morgan Stanley rose after they topped the earnings estimates. The rebounding economy allowed them to release more cash they had put aside for pandemic losses, while sizzling deals, equity financing and trading added to profits. The S&P bank index rose.

UnitedHealth Group Inc also rose after the health insurer reported results and raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast on strength by its Optum unit that manages drug benefits.

Howling optimism, data showed the number of drivers 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, so far as inflation aspect and higher interest rates and the Delta variant, might have lessened, said Alan Lancz, president of Alan B. Lancz Associates Inc. an investment consulting firm based in Toledo, Ohio.

Not that it's all over, but at least on a temporary scale, you can make a case for it trending in the right direction. According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 74.35 points, or 1.70%, to end with 4,438, according to preliminary data. 15 points, while Nasdaq Composite gained 248.97 points or 1.71% to 14,824: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 532.21 points, or 1.55%, to 34,910. Gains were broad-based, with all S&P 500 sectors higher.

Shares of Moderna Inc were sharply higher after a panel of expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted to recommend booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and those at high risk of severe illness.

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 13'3 in the long term.