New Record High for Dow and S&P 500, BlackBerry Surprises

U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials finishing at record highs, as  investors looked to get into equities as the first quarter came to a close. The Dow Jones Industrial  Average rose 52.38 points, or 0.36%, to 14,578.54, up 11.3% for the quarter. The S&P 500 added 6.34 points,  or 0.41%, to 1,569.19, leaving it up 10% for the three-month period. The Nasdaq Composite rose 11.00
points, or 0.34%, to 3,267.52, up 8.2% for the quarter.

BlackBerry’s fiscal fourth-quarter report brought a bevy of good news. The company surprisingly returned to  profitability; it shipped 1 million Z10 smartphones, the majority of which were snapped up by consumers;  and it appears as if it it’s taking share from competing platforms.

Today’s jobless claims report showed a notable increase to initial unemployment claims and a decline to  continued unemployment claims as initial claims trended well below the closely watched 400K level.

U.S. public pensions reached a milestone in the fourth quarter of 2012 when assets rose to the highest  since a peak just before the financial crisis, according to U.S. Census data released on Thursday. Assets  in 100 of the largest funds, including cash and securities, rose to $2.84 trillion, up 1.7 percent from the  preceding quarter and 8.6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011.

Toyota Motor Corp’s top North American executive on Thursday voiced optimism about the U.S. economy, and  said the aging cars and trucks in consumers’ garages will continue to drive industry demand this year.

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