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US: Shares gain for third straight session

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks sprinted higher for a third straight session on Thursday following solid economic data and good earnings from Dow members Cisco and Walmart.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent to 25,862.68, only about 80 points below the close on May 10 prior to Monday's selloff on US-China trade tensions.

The broad-based S&P 500 won 0.9 per cent to 2,876.32, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced one per cent to 7,898.05.

The gains came after US data showed better-than-expected housing construction and a dip in US jobless claims, contributing to positive investor sentiment following more benign US statements on trade the last couple of days.

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Several Dow members rallied on positive news.

Walmart gained 1.4 per cent after reporting a jump in earnings following a 3.4 per cent gain in US comparable store sales in the first quarter.

Cisco Systems surged 6.7 per cent after reporting better-than-expected profits and offering a bullish sales and profit forecast.

Boeing jumped 2.4 per cent as it announced that it has completed a software upgrade on the 737 Max, which has been grounded following two crashes. The aerospace giant will now work with regulators to win approval to return the jets to service.

Goldman Sachs climbed 1.4 per cent as it unveiled an agreement to acquire United Capital Financial Partners for US$750 million, an expansion of its wealth management business.

But Tesla Motors fell 1.6 per cent after the National Transportation Safety Board said its "Autopilot" software was engaged by a driver who died in a March crash in Florida.

The company also confirmed that its communications director was exiting the company, the latest example of turnover at the electric car maker.

AFP