The S&P 500 ended higher on Thursday as hotter-than-expected economic data eased worries about a recession without raising fears of a Federal Reserve rate hike next week, while Arm Holdings soared in its stock market debut.
SoftBank's Arm was valued at nearly US$60 billion in a strong Nasdaq debut, with the chip designer's shares soaring nearly 25 percent in their first day of trading.
Retail sales rose more than expected in August on higher gasoline prices, while initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed to a seasonally adjusted 220,000 for the week ended September 9 from 217,000 the week before.
"Today's economic data confirms the path toward a soft landing, but without being so hot that the Fed thinks they might need to do a couple more rate hikes," said Ross Mayfield, Investment Strategy Analyst at Baird. "All together, it's pretty bullish."
Chip designer Arm's American Depositary Shares opened at US$56.1 apiece compared with the initial public offering price of US$51, in a sign of confidence for other companies planning to list their shares.
"The game is back on. Capital markets are open for business," said Thomas Hayes, chairman at Great Hill Capital. "You're going to see so many IPOs in the next 12 weeks your head is going to spin."
The S&P 500 climbed 0.84 percent to end the session at 4,505 points. The Nasdaq gained 0.81 percent to 13,926 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.96 percent to 34,908 points. It was the Dow's biggest daily percentage gain since August 7.
HP fell 1.8 percent after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway sold about 5.5 million shares of the company.
With Thursday's rally, the S&P 500 is up about 17 percent so far in 2023, and the Nasdaq is up about 33 percent over the same period. (Reuters)