NEW YORK (June 13, 2013)--Stocks surged Thursday as investors focused on positive news about the U.S. economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 180 points, or 1.2 percent, at 15,176.
The market got off to a weak start, but then rose steadily throughout the day.
The advance accelerated in the last hour as the Dow came off its first three-day slump since December.
The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 23 points, or 1.5 percent, to close at 1,636.
The Nasdaq composite rose 44 points, or 1.3 percent, to end at 3,445.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, and retail sales increased 0.6 percent in May from April.
Five stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange where volume was average at 3.4 billion shares.