US stocks extended their rally on Thursday as the housing data came in better than expected, offsetting a weak jobs report and some disappointing earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 113.90 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 13,204.62. The Standard & Poor's 500 was up 9.29 points, or 0.67 per cent, to 1,399.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 20.98 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 3,050.61, Xinhua reported.
Thursday's rally came after the National Association of Realtors said its Pending Home Sales Index rose 4.1 per cent to 101.4, the highest level since April 2010, after a 0.4 per cent gain in February that was revised from a previously estimated 0.5 per cent drop.
Major indexes were pressured in early session after the Labor Department said the number of people applying for jobless benefits decreased mere 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 last week, spurring concerns that hiring was slowing down.
Meanwhile, Energy giant Exxon reported its earnings dropped 11 per cent from a year ago, as its biggest first-quarter production decline since 2008 wiped out most of the benefit of record oil prices.