Economic Activity Spurs Higher Stock Indices

Stocks rose on Thursday as sentiment on Wall Street was lifted by economic data that blew past expectations and dealmaking activity in the media sector.

The Dow Jones Industrials hoisted 110.1 points to 25,311.30, with Disney as the best-performing stock in the index.

The S&P 500 revived 11.81 points to 2,787.44, as the telecommunications sector led nine of 11 sectors higher.

The NASDAQ jumped 57.87 points to 7,753.57

Investors cheered dealmaking news, as shares of 21st Century Fox rose 1.5% after NBCUniversal-parent Comcast announced a bid to buy several major units of the media giant for $65 billion. Comcast's bid tops Disney's, who agreed to a $52.4-billion deal. Comcast shares rose 4% while Disney gained 1.6%

The news comes a day after a judge approved AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner. Last year, the Justice Department sued to block the merger, arguing it would potentially lead to higher prices for the consumer. AT&T shares rose 0.8%, while Time Warner also gained 0.8%.

Thursday's moves come after U.S. stocks closed lower after the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday a new rate hike and indicated that two other increases are possible until the end of the year. As a result, the Dow fell about 120 points as traders expect that the higher rates will bring higher costs for companies.

The Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.8% in May, well above an economist estimate of 0.4%. That also marked the biggest gain in retail sales since November.

The U.S. Labor Department also reported that weekly jobless claims fell to a more-than-44-year-low last week, pointing to a tightening jobs market.

Prices for the benchmark for the 10-year U.S. Treasury were lower, raising yields to 2.96% from Wednesday’s 2.98%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up 29 cents to $66.93 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices jumped $5.40 at $1,306.70 U.S. an ounce.