A six-session losing streak on Wall Street was snapped Thursday as stock prices moved higher despite a technological glitch that disrupted trading for three hours on the Nasdaq exchange.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 66.19 points to 14,963.74. The Nasdaq Composite Index, which reopened with about an hour of trading remaining in the session, rose 38.92 points to 3,638.71, a gain of more than 1 percent. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 14.16 points to 1,656.96.
The Department of Labor said initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 13,000 in the past week to 336,000. In other news, Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan rose to 4.58 percent in the past week, the highest level since July 2011.
Oil rebounded from a Wednesday decline, up $1.18 to $105.03 a barrel. Gold was little changed, up 70 cents to $1,370.80 an ounce.
Buying and selling in many of the country’s most heavily traded shares from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) ground to a virtual standstill as malfunctioning software that feeds data between exchanges prompted Nasdaq to halt trading Thursday afternoon. The disruption comes just two days after options markets were roiled by mistaken trades sent by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS)
The halt resulted in the second-fewest number of shares changing hands on U.S. exchanges in at least five years during a full-day session, excluding holiday trading. About 4.4 billion shares traded today, 30 percent below the three-month average. Volume was lower only on Oct. 8, 2012, according to data Bloomberg began compiling in 2008.
Energy stocks rallied 1.4 percent and materials producers jumped 1.2 percent as all 10 main industries in the S&P 500 advanced today.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) surged 5.8 percent to $22.44, snapping a string of five straight losses. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) added 3.3 percent to $31.35 to pace gains among miners. Industrial metals rallied on the data from China, the world’s biggest consumer of commodities.
A factory index released by HSBC Holdings Plc (NYSE: HBC) and Markit Economics showed a preliminary reading of 50.1, exceeding the 48.2 median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg survey. Readings above 50 signal growth.
Barrick Gold Corp., (NYSE: ABX) the world’s biggest producer of the precious metal, gained 2.6 percent to $19.56. Gold Fields Ltd. (NYSE: GFI) said it will pay $300 million for Barrick’s Granny Smith, Lawlers and Darlot gold mines in Western Australia.
The S&P Supercomposite Homebuilding Index rose 1.9 percent. All 11 members advanced after the Federal Housing Finance Agency report showed home prices extending a recovery. Prices climbed 0.7 percent in the month on a seasonally adjusted basis from May.
Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) gained 2.6 percent to $32.47 and PulteGroup Inc. (NYSE: PHM) climbed 1.4 percent to $16.32.
Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) the biggest U.S. Web portal, added 3.1 percent to $27.90. More than 196 million users spent time on Yahoo’s websites in July, ComScore Inc. (Nasdaq: SCOR) said. That’s 4.3 million more than Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) and the first time Yahoo’s Web traffic surpassed that of the world’s most popular search engine since May 2011.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) jumped 9 percent to $51.91 for the biggest gain in the S&P 500. The largest specialty retailer of video games gained the most in a year after raising its full-year profit forecast ahead of the release of new consoles from Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) tumbled 12 percent to $22.22, the steepest slide in the Dow.
Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) plunged 18 percent to $38.53, the biggest drop since November 2011. The retailer reported second-quarter earnings of 16 cents a share, compared with the average analyst estimate of 29 cents and its own forecast of at least 28 cents.
Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) slumped 8.2 percent to $39.72, the lowest close this year. The retailer said its second-quarter loss widened to $194 million as its loyalty program members used more discounts. Members of the company’s Shop Your Way program accounted for more than 65 percent of sales at Sears operations and Kmart in the quarter. Sales fell 6.3 percent to $8.87 billion.
— Bloomberg contributed to this report.