Stocks gained ground for the fourth straight session. Ken Meyers has your stock market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow was up 62 points to 14865. The S&P 500 Index gained over 5 points to 1593. The NASDAQ rebounded from early losses to finish virtually unchanged at 3300. The NASDAQ was even on issues and 7-6 negative on volume.
  • A rally in retail stocks helped lift the market higher. Limited Brands gained 4.1% to $50.15 and Ross Stores advanced 6% to $63.87 after both companies handily topped same-store-sales expectations.
  • Economic data added to the positive tone.
  • Jobless claims dropped by the most since November, falling by 42,000 last week to 346,000.
  • In addition, inflation remained subdued as import prices fell in March due to a decline in fuel prices.
  • Overall, almost all sectors closed in positive territory. Telecommunication was the best performing group as AT&T gained 1.2% to $38.63 and Verizon increased 1.4% to $50.58. Technology lagged behind and limited gains on the NASDAQ. A report from research firm IDC showed personal computer sales dropped the most on record in the first-quarter, which dragged Hewlett-Packard down 6.2% to $20.93 and Intel fell 1.7% to $21.89.
  • NYSE Composite volume totaled over 3.3 billion shares. On the NYSE, advancers beat decliners by 8-5 on issues and by 5-3 on volume.
  • In fixed-income, Treasuries were higher for the first time this week and a government auction of 30-year bonds drew weak demand. The 10-year note was up 3/32 to yield 1.79% and the 30-year bond gained 4/32 to yield 3.00%.

To see the complete report, click Ken's Market Report.