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US stocks close higher on trade optimism

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IANS New York
US stocks closed higher as investors have been closely following updates on global trade and digested a batch of mixed economic data.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 91.87 points, or 0.36 percent, to 25,717.46 on Thursday. The S&P 500 rose 10.07 points, or 0.36 percent, to 2,815.44. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 25.79 points, or 0.34 percent, to 7,669.17, Xinhua reported.
The market has been buoyed by upbeat prospects on global trade on Thursday, as shares of U.S. manufacturing giant Caterpillar and US conglomerate 3M, both sensitive to global trade, extended gains of nearly 0.9 percent and nearly 0.7 percent, respectively, around market close.
Shares of Lululemon soared over 14 percent, after the Canadian athletic apparel retailer reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018.
Yet shares of Nielsen Holdings slumped over 11 percent, after US leading financial institution Blackstone has reportedly dropped out of the auction to buy the US information and data provider.
Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors traded higher around market close, with the materials sector up nearly 1 percent, leading the winners.
On the economic front, gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, down from the third quarter's 3.4 percent, said the US Department of Commerce on Thursday.
The slower growth pace came mainly as personal consumption expenditures, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment were revised down.
The number of Americans filing applications for jobless benefits unexpectedly declined last week, suggesting a strong US labor market.
In the week ending March 23, US jobless claims, an important measure of unemployment, fell to 211,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised level, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
--IANS
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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 5:20 AM IST

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