Wall Street stocks soared Thursday for a second day running as oil prices
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 323.35 points (1.84 percent) to 17,907.87.
The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 36.24 (1.79 percent) to 2,062.14, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index gained 85.72 (1.84 percent) at 4,736.19.
US oil prices
European stocks soared on optimism the European Central Bank will take new stimulus measures soon.
“There is some pretty clear evidence” the ECB will soon act, said Hugh Johnson of Hugh Johnson Advisors.
“There’s nothing exactly new today, but the situation has changed since a month ago, when it seemed there were too many bureaucratic objections.”
Investors are gearing up for Friday’s US jobs report for December, which analysts expect will show the economy added 245,000 jobs and the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.7 percent.
Apple, the biggest US company by market capitalization, jumped 3.8 percent as it announced that its App Store made new records in 2014 and in early 2015, with consumers spending nearly half a billion dollars on apps in the first week of January.
Other tech stocks that rose significantly included Dow member Microsoft (+2.9 percent), Facebook (+2.7 percent) and chipmaker Micron Technology (+4.9 percent).
Oil-linked equities rallied. Dow member ExxonMobil advanced 1.7 percent, while Apache rose 3.9 percent and oil-services company Weatherford International added 2.76 percent.
General Motors gained 1.0 percent as the automaker’s chief executive Mary Barra gave a strong outlook for US auto sales, projecting industry-wide sales of 16.5-17.0 million in 2015. The last time the 17 million mark was reached was in 2001.
Ford Motor tacked on 2.5 percent as it raised its quarterly dividend by 20 percent.
Yahoo gained 3.4 percent after activist shareholder Starboard Value released a letter warning chief executive Marissa Mayer against making large acquisitions and saying it could seek a leadership change at the technology company if she undertakes the wrong strategy.
Bond prices fell. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 2.01 percent from 1.97 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year advanced to 2.59 percent from 2.53 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.