The Dow Jones was up 156 points to 12,652, the S&P 500 was higher by 14 points to 1329, and the NASDAQ was in the green by 18 points to 2836. Composite volume on the NYSE was 3.6 billion shares with advancing issues beating decliners by a margin of 7-3. The NASDAQ was 7-3 positive on issues as well.
Despite a weaker-than-expected result in weekly jobless claims, equities traded higher throughout the day on speculation that the Federal Reserve could provide further stimulus. In the final hour of trading, stocks extended gains after reports circulated that several central banks were prepared to increase liquidity in financial markets if needed. Investors responded positively to the news as it eased concerns over potential disruptions following Sunday’s Greek elections.
All 10 sectors on the S&P were higher, led by a rally in energy and telecom stocks. Shares of Exxon advanced $1.50 to $82.13 and AT&T gained 71 cents to $35.69. Consumer stocks also had strong gains in the session. Shares of McDonald’s were in the green by $1.75 to $89.72 and Wal-Mart rose 56 cents to $67.63.
In other news, United Technologies was up 60 cents to $74.14 following the company’s 11.5% increase to their quarterly dividend.
In bondland, Treasuries were lower along the curve. The benchmark 10-year note gave up 11 ticks to yield 1.63% and the 30-year bond was off 5/16 of a point to yield 2.72%.