New York: US stocks closed higher, bolstered by solid gains in financials sector.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 377.37 points, or 1.62 per cent, to 23,625.34. The 30-stock index fell more than 400 points earlier in the session, Xinhua news agency reported.
The S&P 500 rose 32.50 points, or 1.15 per cent, to end at 2,852.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 80.55 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 8,943.72.
Shares of American Express soared 7.41 per cent, leading the gainers in the Dow. Shares of JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs advanced 4.15 per cent and 1.54 per cent, respectively, also contributing to the market.
Ten of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors ended higher, with financials up 2.64 per cent, outpacing the reset. Consumer staples decreased 0.31 per cent, the only declining group.
On the data front, US initial jobless claims totaled 2.981 million in the week ending May 9, the Department of Labor reported Thursday, following 3.176 million the prior week.
The dismal report on jobless claims came after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's downbeat comments on the economy.
Powell on Wednesday said the COVID-19 crisis raises "long-term concerns," warning that a prolonged recession and weak recovery could lead to an extended period of low productivity growth and stagnant incomes.
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 1.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States, with over 85,000 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.