Investing.com – Wall Street rose higher after higher than expected economic data showed a strengthening economy and bolstered expectations of increased Fed hikes.
The S&P 500 was up eight points or 0.32% to 2,784.38 as of 9:41 AM ET (13:41 GMT) while the Dow composite increased 77 points or 0.31% to 25,278.83 and tech heavy NASDAQ Composite rose over 40 points or 0.53% to 7,736.31.
The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell more than expected, by 4,000 to 218,000. A separate report showed that U.S. retail sales rose for the third consecutive month.
Both reports supported the case for more interest-rates before the end of the year.
Meanwhile the Federal Reserve increased interest rates for the second time this year on Wednesday, while the European Central Bank announced it would end its bond purchasing program by the end of the year.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) was among the top gainers after the morning bell, rising 1.28% while Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) gained 1.54% and Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY) surged 22.22% after the e-commerce site announced higher transaction fees for sellers.
Elsewhere General Electric (NYSE:GE) fell 0.18% while Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) dipped 0.47% and JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) lost 0.78%.
In Europe stocks were mostly up. Germany’s DAX rose 132 points or 1.03% while in France the CAC 40 increased 61 points or 1.13% and in London, the FTSE 100 was up 41 points or 0.54%. Meanwhile the pan-European Euro Stoxx 50 gained 26 points or 0.76% while Spain’s IBEX 35 inched up 19 points or 0.20%.
In commodities, gold futures rose 0.55% to $1,308.40 troy ounce while crude oil futures increased 0.38% to $66.89 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.64 % to 94.16.