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Wall Street rises on upbeat economic forecast

Wall Street rose higher Thursday, as the better-than-expected economic data indicated the recession may be ending.

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators, which is meant to project economic activity in the next three to six months, rose 0.6 last month, showing the fourth straight monthly improvement and suggesting the recession has bottomed out.

Meanwhile, a Federal Reserve report saying manufacturing in the Philadelphia region unexpectedly expanded in August for the first time in almost a year also added to the market sentiment.

Financials once again led the market's gains, after Robert Benmosche, chief executive officer of American International Group(AIG), said that "at the end of the day, we believe we will be able to pay back the government and we hope we will be able to do something for our shareholders as well."

Shares of AIG, Freddie Mac jumped more than 20 percent on the New York Stocks Exchange.

On the negative side, the U.S. Labor Department reported that initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 576,000 last week. Economists had forecast new claims slipping to 550,000 last week.

And Sears Holdings Corp., the biggest U.S. department-store company, reported an unexpected second-quarter loss instead of profit Wall Street had forecast.

The Dow Jones industrials rose 70.89, or 0.8 percent, to 9,350.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 10.91, or 1.1 percent, to1,007.37, while the Nasdaq composite index gained 19.98, or 1.0 percent, to 1,989.22.

 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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