Intel Corp. and Walt Disney Co. also climbed more than 2.5% to lead the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 169.41 points to 15,461.07 as the 30-stock gauge reclaimed a record high on a closing basis for the first time since May. The Russell 2000 Index of smaller U.S. companies jumped 1.3% to reach a record for a fifth straight day.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields declined 5.4 basis points to 2.57%, after climbing to 2.75% earlier this week, the highest since August 2011. German 10-year bond yields fell four basis points to 1.62%.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased to a two-month high of 360,000 last week, Labor Department figures showed. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 340,000. Claims are difficult to adjust in July for seasonal events such as vehicle plant shutdowns and the Independence Day holiday, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data were released.
Minutes of the Fed’s June meeting showed about half of the 19 participants in the Federal Open Market Committee wanted to halt the central bank’s bond-buying program by year end. The minutes also showed many wanted to see more signs that employment is improving before backing a reduction in the pace of asset purchases. Data last week showed U.S. employers added 195,000 jobs last month, beating the increase of 165,000 predicted by economists.
About three stocks climbed for every one that dropped in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which advanced 0.6%. A gauge of mining companies rallied 3.9%, its biggest gain since January. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group, the world’s two largest commodity producers, rose more than 4.5% each.
Associated British Foods Plc jumped 5.1% after reporting that sales grew 20% at its Primark clothing business in the 16 weeks to June 22.
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