The broadest of the major US stock indices hit
a five-year high Thursday on Wall Street after optimistic economic
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 8.31 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 1,480.94.
A 2012 year-end report on new housing starts showed the residential construction business had its best year since 2008, while the government's weekly measure of first-time claims for unemployment benefits showed that job losses were at a five-year low.
The session's gains were broad-based, with nine out of 10 S&P 500 sectors participating.
The only exception was among financial listings, which lost 0.1 per cent.
The slump was led by Bank of America, the second-largest US lender by assets, which lost 4.2 per cent after its quarterly results were hurt by shrinking revenue and more costs from cleaning up bad mortgages. Revenue was off by 25 per cent, while profits dropped 63 per cent.
Third-ranked bank Citigroup Inc lost 2.9 per cent in its share price after reporting fourth-quarter profits up 25 per cent, which fell short of Wall Street expectations due to litigation costs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 84.79 points, or 0.63 per cent, to 13,596.02. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 18.46 points, or 0.59 per cent, to 3,136.
The US currency slipped against the euro to 74.74 euro cents from 75.27 euro cents on Wednesday. The dollar jumped against the Japanese currency to 89.9 yen from 88.73 yen.
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