Stocks Settle Higher As Optimism Returns To Wall Street

The Dow added 141 points on Thursday, completing a V-shaped recovery after briefly dipping into negative territory earlier in the session. The S&P 500 scored a solid win as well, settling at its highest level since Feb. 17, while the Nasdaq closed above the psychologically-significant 12,000 level.

Encouraging jobless claims have traders optimistic the Federal Reserve will stick to its plan of slowing the pace of interest rate hikes. Elsewhere, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) marked its fifth-straight loss and lowest close since March 6.






Oil futures pivoted higher on Thursday to settle at their highest level in more than two weeks. Stronger global demand as maintenance season for oil refiners comes to an end boosted black gold today. May-dated crude added $1.40, or 1.9%, to close at $74.37 per barrel.

Gold prices rallied as well, notching their highest close in more than 12 months after briefly topping $2,000. The safe-haven metal surged amid the prospect of lower interest rates expectations, a weaker U.S. dollar, and strong demand in China. June-dated gold rose $13.20, or 0.7%, to settle at $1,997.70 per ounce.

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