Stocks mostly gain after better jobless claims

Stocks rallied for the fourth straight day Thursday, lifted by somewhat optimistic comments by the economist known as Dr. Doom.

Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the financial crisis, said at an investor conference that the U.S. economy might pull out of its recession by the end of the year.

The remarks by the New York university professor, who picked up the Dr. Doom moniker in recent years for his extremely bearish -- and accurate -- calls on the economy and markets, didn’t appear much different from those he made last week.

But stock prices began to pull higher Thursday as soon as the latest comments hit the wires. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 95.61 points, or 1.1%, at 8,711.82, the index’s fourth straight advance.


The Dow, up 6.9% this week on some relatively upbeat corporate forecasts from Intel, American Express and others, now is just 1% below its spring closing high of 8,799 reached June 12.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 8.06 points, or 0.9%, to 940.74, leaving it 0.6% below its June 12 closing high of 946.21.

About three stocks rose for every two that fell on the New York Stock Exchange.

Investors piled into technology stocks as the market awaited earnings reports from Google and IBM. Both tech giants posted better-than-expected results after the closing bell.


The tech-laden Nasdaq composite index posted its seventh consecutive advance, rising 22.13 points, or 1.2%, to 1,885.03, a fresh nine-month high.

During regular trading, shares of Google rose 1%, while IBM jumped 3.2%. Google lost ground in after-hours trading after reporting its results, but IBM rose.

Cellphone maker Nokia tumbled 14% in regular trading after reporting a 66% drop in profit and cutting its forecasts for profitability and market share this year.

Financial stocks lagged behind the rest of the market after small-business lender CIT Group said negotiations with federal regulators about a rescue broke off. CIT tumbled $1.23, or 75%, to 41 cents.

JPMorgan Chase slipped 0.4% after reporting big gains in its investment banking business that were offset somewhat by loan losses.

In other market highlights:

* Yields on government bonds fell despite the upturn in stocks. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell to 3.55% from 3.59% late Wednesday.

* Overseas, key stock indexes climbed 0.4% in Britain, 0.6% in Germany, 0.9% in France and 0.8% in Japan.



Times wire services were used in compiling this report.