Stocks Gain On Data

U.S. stocks were trading higher in the early afternoon on Thursday, putting the Dow industrials on track to halt their longest losing streak this year, as upbeat retail sales and the labor data overcame worry about Japanese equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately rose 124.81 points, or 0.83%, to 15,120.04. The S&P 500 index was up 15.91 points, or 0.99%, at 1,628.43. The Nasdaq Composite gained 33.60 points, or 0.99%, to 3,434.03.

Retail sales rose more than expected in May and first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, signs of economic resilience in the face of belt-tightening in Washington. The data on Thursday suggested rising home prices and steady job gains, which hoisted consumer confidence to multi-year highs in May, was starting to create a virtuous cycle in which gains in spending were forcing employers to keep hiring.

John Hogan, who became chief risk officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) as the company was just beginning to lose billions of dollars on its London Whale derivatives trades last year, may leave the company, CEO Jamie Dimon said on Thursday.

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