Stocks Rally as Growth Worries Fade

U.S. stocks closed higher Thursday, after a drop in applications for unemployment insurance boosted confidence in the economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 188.30 points, or 1.22%, to 15,628.53. The S&P 500 was up 21.79 points, or 1.24%, at 1,773.43. The Nasdaq Composite gained 45.57 points, or 1.14%, higher at 4,057.12.

LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $3.78 million, or 3 cents a share, compared with a profit of $11.51 million, or 10 cents a share, for the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $447.22 million from $303.62 million.

Expedia Inc. (EXPE) said fourth-quarter profit surged on a favorable comparison to the year-earlier period and higher revenue.For the fourth quarter, the company posted profit of $94.7 million, or 70 cents a share, versus a profit of $6.7 million, or five cents a share, a year ago.

The euro rose against the dollar on Thursday after the European Central Bank gave no sign of an imminent rate cut and stocks on Wall Street had their best day this year as strong jobless data boosted confidence in the economy.

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