Wall Street Up More Than 1 Percent For Second Day

A trader watches a news conference on television by the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange December 17, 2014.   REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

A trader watches a news conference on television by the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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NEW YORK - U.S. stocks advanced more than 1 percent on Thursday, extending a rally from the previous session as tech shares gained with stronger-than-expected results from Oracle.

The technology sector .SPLRCT, up 2.4 percent, helped fuel the advance, buoyed by a gain of over 8 percent in Oracle Corp (ORCL.N), a day after its quarterly results topped Wall Street expectations. Shares of Apple (AAPL.O) climbed 1.9 percent.

On Wednesday, the benchmark S&P 500 index had notched its best day since October 2013 after the Federal Reserve gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy and said it would take a patient approach toward raising interest rates.

The S&P 500 had fallen nearly 5 percent from its most recent record high on Dec. 5 before the strong gains on Wednesday.

WTI crude CLc1 fell 4.2 percent, while the S&P Energy sector .SPNY was last up 0.1 percent.

At 2:35 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI rose 287.83 points, or 1.66 percent, to 17,644.7, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 31.95 points, or 1.59 percent, to 2,044.84 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 81.18 points, or 1.75 percent, to 4,725.49.

Earlier in the session, data showed weekly jobless claims fell more than expected, suggesting the labor market continues to strengthen. However, readings on the U.S. services sector and mid-Atlantic factory activity indicated a slower pace of growth.

Rite Aid (RAD.N) shares surged 12.2 percent to $6.80 after the drugstore chain's quarterly results topped expectations and it boosted its 2015 outlook.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE 2,370 to 722, for a 3.28-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,969 issues rose and 760 fell for a 2.59-to-1 ratio.

The benchmark S&P 500 was posting 60 new 52-week highs and five new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 133 new highs and 28 new lows.

BY CAROLINE VALETKEVITCH - Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:51pm EST(Reuters)

(Additional reporting by Charles Mikolajczak; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

 
 

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