Strong close as global debt worries fade - New York Report

US stocks ended higher yesterday, helped by a jump in tech stocks and a reversal in surging global interest rates.

Strong quarterly results from Alibaba as well as speculation that consumer review website Yelp.com could be for sale drove technology stocks higher, with the S&P tech index up 0.87 per cent.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits held near a 15-year low last week, suggesting positive momentum in the economy, but not so much as to change expectations for a September interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

A recent run-up in global interest rates that has worried Wall Street also showed signs of stabilizing, while a rally in oil prices snapped.

“That drastic, draconian move in bonds and violent updraft in oil are settling a little bit and that’s helping us focus on stocks,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

Investors are looking ahead to an April payroll report today that will offer a fresh indication of the economy’s health and could potentially affect when the Fed raises interest rates for the first time since 2006. Most of Wall Street’s top banks see the Federal Reserve holding off until at least September before raising interest rates, based on Reuters’ most recent poll.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 82.08 points, or 0.46 per cent, to end at 17,924.06. The S&P 500 gained 7.85 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 2,088 and the Nasdaq Composite added 25.90 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 4,945.54.