Meanwhile, fresh data showed continued strength in the labor market, contributing to uncertainty about the path of interest rates. Fed officials indicated yesterday they may hold rates steady at their June meeting.
The ADP National Employment Report showed that hiring was robust again in May, with nonfarm private sector employment rising by 278,000. (Construction employment was among the strengths.)
And jobless claims data showed that worker filings for unemployment benefits remain historically low. Investors will be closely watching tomorrow’s jobs report.
In afternoon trading:
U.S. stocks advanced. The Dow moved higher, rising more than 150 points, while the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also gained. Nearly all of the S&P 500’s sectors were up.
Retail stocks fell. Shares of Dollar General fell on a weak forecast. Macy’s cut its full-year outlook on profits, citing challenges in the economic health of consumers; its shares edged higher, shaking off early losses.
Government bond prices edged higher. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 3.607%, from 3.636% Wednesday.
Energy stocks climbed. Oil rose, with Brent crude futures trading around $74. The S&P’s energy sector led today’s advancers.