Stocks finished sharply higher on Thursday. Mike Hunter has your stock market report on the Acadiana Business Index.

  • The Dow advanced 169 points to a record close at 15460. The S&P 500 climbed 22 points to a new all-time high at 1675. The NASDAQ jumped 57 points to 3575.
  • The major averages rallied following comments from Fed Chairman Bernanke. In a speech after Thursday’s close, Bernanke said the central bank will maintain its accommodative monetary policy for the foreseeable future.
  • On the economic front, a report showed initial jobless claims unexpectedly rose 16,000 to 360,000 in the prior week.
  • All 10 sectors in the S&P 500 were higher on the session. Materials and technology were the best performing groups. Freeport McMoRan gained 4.6% to $28.53 and Newmont Mining surged 5.7% to $28.12 as gold rallied amid a weaker dollar. Apple rose 1.6% to $427.29. Microsoft increased 2.8% to $35.68 after it announced a reorganization of its business units. Homebuilders were higher paced by a 9.2% rise in DR Horton to $22.98. Bank stocks underperformed. Regions Financial fell $0.25 to $9.88. JP Morgan was up $0.31 to $55.14 ahead of its earnings release Friday before the open.
  • Advancers beat decliners on the NYSE by more than 13-2 on issues and 8-1 on volume. NYSE Composite volume was more than 3.4 billion shares. The NASDAQ was 8-3 positive on issues and 5-1 on volume.
  • Treasuries extended their winning streak to a fourth session with the 10-year note up 15/32 to yield 2.57%.

For the complete report, click Ken's Market Report.