U.S. stocks traded higher Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 index briefly climbing to their highest levels in three weeks and the Nasdaq Composite touching levels unseen since mid-February as banking-sector fears eased and U.S. economic data bolstered hopes for Federal Reserve rate cuts. How are stocks trading
The S&P 500
rose 18 points, or 0.5%, to 4,046.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
climbed 45 points, or 0.4%, to 32,765.
The Nasdaq Composite
gained 88 points, or 0.7%, to 12,015. Earlier it traded as high as 12,038, its highest intraday level since Feb. 16, according to FactSet data.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 323 points, or 1%, to 32,718, its highest closing level since March 8 — the day that Silicon Valley Bank announced a doomed capital raise that led to its failure, helping to spark a transatlantic crisis of confidence in the banking sector.
What’s driving markets A raft of encouraging economic data and waning banking-sector fears helped drive U.S. stocks higher on Thursday, analysts said. “Another day without any unwelcome banking surprises lifted markets as investors headed back towards a risk-on approach,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor. Analysts also noted an improvement in market breadth, as cyclical sectors like industrials, materials and financials that have suffered in recent weeks helping to push the market higher. Although the technology-heavy Nasdaq remained in the lead, benefiting from the perception of safety. See: Tech stocks back as a haven? ‘It’s a mistake,’ say market analysts The S&P 500 index closed above the 4,000 mark once again on Wednesday, an important technical accomplishment that stoked hopes for a further rally. Technical analyst Katie Stockton of Fairlead Strategies said in a note to clients that a breakout above 4,050 on the S&P 500 could help to propel the index back to its highest levels of the year, reached in early February. She also noted that “breadth has improved as cyclical sectors have reversed an oversold bounce” in a note to clients. Revised data on U.S. GDP growth showed …