Wall Street jumps on upbeat data

Wall Street rallied as US stock investors put aside worries about swirling global problems yesterday, turning to improvement in the labour market and signs consumers are ready to open their wallets ahead of the biggest shopping day of the year.

New claims for unemployment benefits hit their lowest level in more than two years last week while consumer spending rose for a fourth straight month in October, suggesting the economy is nearing a self-sustaining recovery.

Online retailer Amazon.com rose 5.4 per cent to close at an all-time high of $177.25. The S&P consumer discretionary index, which gained two per cent for the day, has climbed 22.5 per cent year-to-date and is the best-performing of the S&P 500’s top 10 sectors in that period.

The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 150.91 points, or 1.37 per cent, to 11,187.28. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 17.62 points, or 1.49 per cent, to 1,198.35.

The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 48.17 points, or 1.93 per cent, to 2,543.12.