* 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 hit record
closing highs on Thursday, with the S&P 500 topping 1,700 after
strong data on factory growth and as major central banks said
they would keep monetary stimulus in place.
Stocks were broadly higher, with all 10 S&P 500 sectors in
the black. Growth-sensitive financials, industrials and consumer
discretionary shares registered the biggest gains. The Dow
transportation average rose 3.2 percent, also at a new
Google shares, up 1.9 percent at $904.22, and Apple
, up 0.9 percent at $456.67, were among companies giving
the biggest boost to the S&P 500, 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 maintained accommodative stances on
Thursday, with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi
reiterating that 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 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 13-year high.
The drop in initial jobless claims, coupled with Wednesday's
better-than-expected ADP report on private-sector hiring , bodes
well for the 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 closed up 12.5 percent to $174.15, after
hitting an all-time high of $180.99 earlier.
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
Data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed investors
in funds based in the United States pulled money out of taxable
bond funds for the first week in three while stock funds marked
a fifth straight week of inflows.
Some market participants have suggested that there has been
a pickup in money moving out of bond fund and bond
exchange-traded funds and into small- and mid-cap funds and
ETFs. But analysts said the movement has been slow.
"I think we're in the very early innings of that occurring,"
said Eric Marshall, director of research at Hodges Capital
Management, Dallas, Texas.
After the bell, shares of LinkedIn rose 6.3 percent
to $226.51 after it reported a big jump in quarterly revenue.
Also after the close, shares of Weight Watchers dropped
15.5 percent to $39.75 following the release of its results and
Volume was roughly 6.89 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.