US stocks close higher

New York: US stocks closed higher as investors digested key economic data as well as corporate earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 88.92 points, or 0.30 percent, to 29,379.77 on Thursday. The S&P 500 increased 11.09 points, or 0.33 percent, to 3,345.78. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 63.47 points, or 0.67 percent, to 9,572.15, Xinhua reported.

On data front, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to a nine-month low in the week ending February 1.

According to the US Labour Department, the seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week was 202,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

The four-week moving average was 211,750, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average, the department said.

On the earnings front, Twitter shares soared 15 percent for the day after the company reported strong user numbers for the fourth quarter.

The social media company said its average monetizable daily active usage (mDAU) reached 152 million for the quarter, up 21 percent year-on-year.

It reported revenue of USD 1.01 billion and non-GAAP diluted net income per share of USD 0.25.

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