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Stocks rise on fresh economic, corporate data

NEW YORK – Stocks extended their gains to a second day Thursday after an upbeat profit report from Best Buy Co. and new unemployment numbers added to a sense that the economy might be finding its footing.

The report from Best Buy boosted hopes that consumer spending could show more resilience than some analysts had expected.

Readings on the nation’s economic output and weekly unemployment claims gave mixed signals about the economy. But the numbers still largely supported a growing notion in the market the past two weeks that the economy might be showing nascent signs of stabilizing.

In the first half-hour of trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 76.70, or 1 percent, to 7,826.51.

Broader stock indicators also rose. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 10.43, or 1.3 percent, to 824.31, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 28.22, or 1.9 percent, to 1,557.17.

Stocks ended higher Wednesday after a fractious session. Economic data that came in ahead of expectations brought in buyers and helped offset worries about what some saw as lackluster demand at a government debt auction.

Bond prices slipped early Thursday. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note, which moves opposite its price, rose to 2.81 percent from 2.79 percent late Wednesday. The yield on the three-month T-bill, considered one of the safest investments, rose to 0.17 percent from 0.15 percent.

The dollar was mixed against other major currencies, while gold prices rose.

Oil rose $1.36 to $54.13 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Best Buy, the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer, said Thursday that its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings fell 23 percent as it booked some one-time expenses but its results stripping out those costs beat analysts’ estimates as sales climbed on store openings. Best Buy rose $4.94, or 14.8 percent, to $38.40.

And meat processor ConAgra Foods Inc. rose 82 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $16.38 after posting results topped Wall Street’s expectations.

Meanwhile, the government reported the nation’s gross domestic product shrank at a 6.3 percent pace in the fourth quarter. That was a bigger drop than the government previously estimated but not as severe as analysts predicted.

The number of workers seeking unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, though less than economists forecast. But the total number of people claiming benefits jumped to 5.56 million, higher than economists projected. It was the ninth straight record high.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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