[UPDATE] Stronger Economic Reports Put Aside a Japan Crisis Fear

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[UPDATE] 3-17 4:42 PM --

NEW YORK (AP) -- Signs that the U.S. economy is improving are helping investors put aside fears over Japan's nuclear crisis, if
only temporarily.

Manufacturing in the mid-Atlantic region jumped to its highest point since 1984. Meanwhile the Labor Department said fewer people applied for unemployment benefits than economists were expecting.

Gains in the stock market were broad Thursday. All 10 company groups in the Standard and Poor's index rose.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 161, or 1.4 percent, to close at 11,775. The S&P 500 index rose 17, or 1.3 percent, to 1,274. The Nasdaq composite rose 19, or 0.7 percent, to 2,636.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Consolidated volume came to 4.2 billion shares.


New York, NY (AP) - Concerns over the economic impact of the massive
earthquake and tsunami in Japan are leading to a broad sell-off in the stock market. Japan is the world's third-largest economy.

Nine out of the 10 company groups that make up the Standard and Poor's 500 index fell Monday. Utilities companies lost 1.4 percent, the most of any group, as the Japanese disaster dimmed the prospects of nuclear energy.

At the market close, the S&P index is down 8 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,296. The Dow Jones industrial average is down 51, or 0.4 percent, to 11,993. The Nasdaq composite is down 15, or 0.5 percent, to 2,700.

Two stocks fell for every one that rose on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 969 million shares.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)