Drop in jobless claims boosts markets

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A drop in first time applications for unemployment benefits boosted investor enthusiasm to lift the markets to a sharply higher close with the Dow surging 293 points to 24,483. Nasdaq leaped 71 points to 7140.


On the upside


Shares of Zuora (NYSE: ZUO) surged on its first trading day. 


Geron (Nasdaq: GERN) stock rose ahead of partner Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) upcoming earnings release.


Shares of Selecta Biosciences (Nasdaq: SELB) surged for the third day in a row.

 

On the downside 


Argan (NYSE: AGX) reported sharply lower fourth quarter earnings as revenue dropped.


Daqo New Energy (NYSE: DQ) priced its registered follow-on offering of 2 million American Depositary Shares at the discounted price of $55.00 per ADS.


Profit taking weighed down shares of Pretium Resources (NYSE: PVG).


In the broad market, advancing issues outpaced decliners by a margin of 6 to 5 on the NYSE and by more than 3 to 1 on Nasdaq. The broader S&P 500 climbed 21 points to 2,663. Bitcoin surged $820 to $7,724.


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