Rally on Wall Street Breaks Three-Day Slump

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks shrugged off Wednesday night’s overnight rout in Japan and posted strong gains on Thursday. Positive news about the economy helped to break a three-day slump for the major averages.

The Dow Jones Industrials rallied to finish Thursday's trading session at 15,176.08, up around 181 points, despite a weak start. The S&P 500 gained 24 points to close at 1,636.36. The Nasdaq Composite closed the day up 45 points, closing at 3,445.36.
The biggest winners Thursday on the Dow were Caterpillar, Merck & Pfizer.

Investors were pleased with several reports Thursday showing that unemployment benefits fell last week, while retail sales increased 0.6 percent in May.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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