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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Stocks rallied Thursday, with banks, utilities and energy shares leading the advance.
The gains offered some welcome relief for Wall Street investors, who have been feeling the heat from a six-session losing streak.
“We’ve gotten to the point of being oversold,” said Michael James, senior equity trader with Wedbush Morgan Securities.
At the preliminary close, the Dow Jones industrial average () gained 83 points, or less than 0.7%; the SP 500 ( ) added 10 points, or 0.8%; and the Nasdaq Composite ( ) rose 17 points, or 0.6%.
DuPont (Fortune 500), JPMorgan Chase ( , Fortune 500), and Chevron ( , Fortune 500) were among the biggest gainers on the Dow. Of the 30 Dow components, Verizon ( , Fortune 500) was the only loser, albeit by a modest 0.7%.,
Shares of Wells Fargo (Fortune 500) and Morgan Stanley ( , Fortune 500) were among the biggest gainers on the SP 500. Bank stocks are in recovery mode, after falling between 8% and 12% in the past month.,
Still, market sentiment remains pessimistic. Dow and SP are still on pace post their sixth-consecutive weekly loss.
Analysts said trading will likely remain choppy as uncertainty continues to weigh on investor’s minds.
“Until we get through the next few weeks and start to see additional economic data, and see what the Fed does in respect to QE2 or a successor to QE2, we’re going to be in a period of disappointing news and heightened uncertainty,” said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank.
Trading volume was also light, with slightly more than 3 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, another sign that Thursday’s rally might be short lived.
“There’s certainly no conviction in this market based on the volume we have,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical analyst with Schaeffer’s Investment Research.
Stocks fell Wednesday, as economic concerns weighed on material stocks like Alcoa (Fortune 500).,
Economy: The Labor Department released its weekly initial jobless claims data, showing that 427,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week. That was slightly higher than expected, and marked the ninth straight week that the figure stayed above 400,000.
The government also issued its monthly report on the U.S. trade balance, showing the gap narrowed to $43.7 million in April, instead of the expected widening.
Investors also got the Federal Reserve’s “Flow of Funds” data, which showed Americans’ net worth fell by $16.4 trillion from its peak in spring 2007.
Companies: Citigroup (Fortune 500) reported a data breach of roughly 1% — or 210,000 — of the bank’s online accounts in North America. Shares of Citi rose 3%.,
Shares of Fusion-io () surged 32% in their public debut. Fusion-io priced its IPO at $19 a shares — above its estimated price range.
J.M. Smucker (Fortune 500) shares rose 3.5%, after the jam and jelly maker reported a fourth-quarter profit that topped forecasts by a penny per share.,
Shares of Men’s Wearhouse () rose 5%, after the company reported earnings more than doubled from a year ago late Wednesday.
Currencies and commodities: The dollar was higher against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen .
Oil for July delivery gained $1.19, or 1.2%, to $101.93 a barrel. On Wednesday, oil prices jumped nearly 2% after OPEC failed to reach an agreement on crude production levels.
Gold futures for August delivery rose $4 to $1,547.70 an ounce. Silver prices jumped 2% to $37.32 an ounce.
Commodities have held up pretty recently, which is good sign for the economic recovery, McCain said.
“I don’t think you would be seeing quite as much strength there if it didn’t bode well for some sort of economic rebound, at least in the shorter term,” he said.
Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 2.98% from 2.96% late Wednesday.
World markets: European ended Thursday’s session broadly higher. Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8%, the DAX in Germany gained 1.3% and France’s CAC 40 rose 1%.
The European Central Bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 1.25%, as was widely expected.
Asian markets ended the session mixed. The Shanghai Composite dropped 1.7% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.2%, while Japan’s Nikkei added 0.2%.