Major U.S. stock indexes and ETFs closed at five year highs on Thursday in response to good economic reports and potential settlement in the debt ceiling debate
December housing starts came in at 951,000, far exceeding expectations and last month’s reading, and weekly jobless claims logged 335,000, beating expectations and the previous reading. On the downside, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing report for January took an unexpected plunge into negative territory at -5.8.
For the day, major index ETFs posted solid gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) jumped 0.63%, the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) added 0.56%, the Nasdaq 100 (NYSEARCA:QQQ) climbed 0.45% and the Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) jumped 0.91%.
The most significant part of today’s gain was the advance of the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) above recent resistance levels at 1475.
In Washington, murmurs of a temporary increase in the U.S. debt ceiling also added to the positive atmosphere for stocks and ETFs.
Bank of America headlined earnings and was down 4.24% as investors didn’t like what they heard and Intel gained in the regular session but was smacked hard in the after hours session with a drop of 5.3% after releasing its earnings.