* Initial jobless claims fall more than expected
* All 10 S&P 500 sectors higher; banks among leaders
* Pioneer Natural Resources jumps after results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.8 pct, S&P 1.3 pct, Nasdaq 1.4 pct
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Aug 1 (Reuters) - The Dow and S&P 500 ended at
record highs on Thursday, with the S&P 500 rising above 1,700
after strong data on factory growth and as central banks said
they would keep monetary stimulus in place.
Stocks were broadly higher, with all 10 S&P 500 sectors in
the black, though growth-sensitive financials, industrials and
consumer discretionary shares registered the biggest gains. The
Dow transportation average rose 3.2 percent, also closing
at a new high.
Google shares, up 1.9 percent at $904.22, and Apple
, up 0.9 percent at $456.67, were among companies giving
the S&P 500 its biggest boost, along with financials. JPMorgan
Chase shares gained 1.5 percent to $56.54 while Bank of
America was up 2.4 percent at $14.95.
Data on weekly U.S. initial jobless claims and national
manufacturing came in better than expected. The Institute for
Supply Management index of national factory activity for July
rose to its highest level since June 2011.
"The talk we've been hearing that the second half is going
to be better than the first. We saw some follow-through on that.
The ISM showing expansion in a lot of different areas is one of
the main reasons why Wall Street (was) rallying today," said
Brian Amidei, managing director at HighTower Advisors in Palm
Global central banks remained accommodative on Thursday,
with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterating
the ECB's rates will remain at their present level or lower for
an "extended period."
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve, in its latest policy
statement, gave no hint that a reduction in the pace of its
bond-buying program was imminent, as the economy continues to
recover but is still in need of support.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 128.48
points, or 0.83 percent, at 15,628.02, a record close. It also
hit a new intraday high of 15,650.69. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index was up 21.14 points, or 1.25 percent, at 1,706.87,
also a record. The benchmark S&P surpassed 1,700 early in the
session after failing to break above that level on Wednesday.
The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 49.37 points, or
1.36 percent, at 3,675.74. The index hit a fresh 13-year high.
The drop in initial claims, coupled with Wednesday's
better-than-expected ADP employment report, bodes well for July
payrolls data on Friday.
Yelp Inc surged 23.2 percent to $51.50 after the
consumer reviews website posted a smaller-than-expected
quarterly loss and forecast third-quarter revenue above
Pioneer Natural Resources was the S&P 500's biggest
percentage gainer after reporting second-quarter results. The
company's shares jumped 12.5 percent to $174.15, after hitting
an all-time high of $180.99 earlier in the session.
On the downside, Exxon Mobil Corp dipped 1.1 percent
to $92.73, the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P 500, after
reporting a sharp drop in quarterly profit on lower oil and gas
output production and weaker earnings from its refining
After the bell, shares of LinkedIn rose 6.3 percent
to $226.51 after it reported a big jump in quarterly revenue.
Volume was roughly 6.85 billion shares traded on the New
York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE MKT, above the
average daily closing volume of about 6.4 billion this year.
Advancers beat decliners on the NYSE by about 1.6 to 1 and
on the Nasdaq by about 2.6 to 1.