US stocks closed higher on Thursday as sentiment was buoyed by robust US economic data and strong market debuts from Pinterest Inc. and Zoom Video Communications Inc.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110 points, or 0.42%, to 26,560, the S&P 500 gained five points, or 0.16%, to 2,905 and the Nasdaq Composite added two points, or 0.02%, to 7,998.
US retail sales in March surpassed analyst expectations, rising at their fastest monthly pace in one and half years, according to the Commerce Department.
In a separate report, data from the Labour Department showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped last week to a 50-year low.
Industrial stocks were the biggest percentage gainers following upbeat quarterly results and remarks from China’s commerce ministry spokesman that progress has been made in US-China trade talks.
Honeywell International Inc’s stocks rose 3.8% after the company beat earnings forecast amid growing demand for aircraft parts.
Fewer catastrophe losses helped Travellers Companies Inc report higher-than-expected profit. The property & casualty insurer’s stock gained 2.3%.
Union Pacific Corp shares advanced 4.4% after beating earnings estimates as price hikes helped the railroad offset the impact of severe weather and midwest floods.
Online scrapbook company Pinterest Inc jumped 28.4% in its debut. Zoom Video Communications, which reportedly priced its IPO above its stated range as well, surged 72%.
On the negative side, Schlumberger NV’s shares slipped 3.9% after reporting a 20% drop in first-quarter profit.
American Express Co’s quarterly revenue fell short of analyst estimates, but the stock ended the session up 1.7%.
Shares of Alcoa Corp. fell 3.8% after the alumina and aluminum producer late Wednesday reported a wider-than-expected loss for the first quarter, while also falling short of sales expectations.
In Asia, Markets in Japan and South Korea were trading higher on Friday in morning session while other markets in the region, including Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia, were closed due to a public holiday.
The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.57%, while the Topix index was up 0.31%. South Korea’s Kospi index, meanwhile, rose 0.33%. In china, the Shanghai Composite Index was trading 0.65% higher.