Stocks Rally, S&P Knocks on 1,600

U.S. stocks surged on Thursday, with the S&P at a fresh intraday high, after the European Central Bank cut its  benchmark interest rate and U.S. jobless claims unexpectedly declined to a five-year low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 130.63 points, or 0.89%, to 14,831.58. The S&P 500 index added 14.89 points, or 0.94%, to 1,597.59.  The Nasdaq Composite climbed 41.49 points, or 1.26%, to 3,340.62.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in March for a second month as the daily flow of imported crude oil dropped to the  lowest level in 17 years. The deficit with China hit a three-year low. The overall trade deficit decreased to $38.8  billion, an 11 percent drop from February’s $43.6 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

President Barack Obama on Thursday chose two old friends with corporate executive experience for top posts on his  economic team, naming longtime fundraiser Penny Pritzker as Commerce secretary and adviser Michael Froman as U.S.  Trade Representative.

Insurer American International Group Inc (AIG) ‘s quarterly profit fell about 35 percent on lower premium income and  higher claims. Net income fell to $1.98 billion (£1.27 billion), or $1.34 per share, for the first quarter, from  $3.05 billion, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier.

Twitter has hired Cynthia Gaylor from Morgan Stanley to run its corporate development team, bringing in a veteran  investment banker with experience in acquisitions and initial public offerings.






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