Stocks Open Higher on Job Data, GM Posts Strong Profit

U.S. stocks opened higher on Thursday after the European Central Bank cuts its benchmark interest rate and U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly declined to a five-year low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately climbed 36.90 points to 14,737.85. The S&P 500 index gained 5.00 points to 1,587.70. The Nasdaq Composite rose 15.39 points to 3,314.52.

The European Central Bank cut interest rates for the first time in 10 months on Thursday, driven to act by an  economy wallowing in recession and freed to do so by sharply falling inflation. The ECB lowered its main interest  rate by a quarter point to a new record low of 0.50 percent.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to seasonally adjusted 324,000, the lowest since  January 2008. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications fell 18,000, the second straight sharp  drop. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, plummeted 16,000 to 342,250, close to a five-year low.

General Motors Co posted stronger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as the automaker kept a tight grip on  costs in its North American and European businesses. Net income attributable to common stockholders fell to $865  million, or 58 cents a share, in the first quarter, from $1 billion, or 60 cents a share, in the year-earlier  period. Revenue fell 2.4 percent from last year to $36.9 billion.

Facebook Inc’s mobile advertising revenue growth gained momentum in the first three months of the year as the social  network sold more ads to users on smartphones and tablets, partially offsetting higher spending which weighed on  profits. Mobile ad revenue accounted for 30 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue in the first quarter, compared to
roughly 23 percent in the fourth quarter.






Leave a Reply