* Yellen testimony little changed from remarks Wed
* Priceline, Tesla bounce from early lows
* Indexes up: Dow 0.52 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.93 pct
(Adds earnings data, updates prices)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, May 8 U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, as
a turnaround in beaten-down momentum names boosted the Nasdaq
while initial jobless claims data, which suggested the labor
market was improving, helped lift the broader market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined
26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 319,000 for the week ended May
3, snapping three weeks of declines. Economists polled by
Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless
benefits to fall to 325,000 last week.
After falling 1.7 percent over the past two sessions, the
Nasdaq rebounded as heavy momentum names bounced off earlier
lows. Tesla Motors halved its losses in the session so far and
was down 5.7 percent at $189.87.
The Global X Social Media Index ETF, which had
fallen more than 14 percent since April 22 heading into
Thursday's session, advanced 2.9 percent.
"It's driven a little bit by the volatility in the big
Nasdaq names, notably the momentum stocks, which I guess at
least some investors felt maybe made a temporary bottom this
morning. When they turned positive, it gave some confidence to
the overall market," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView
Capital Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.
"These are momentum stocks where the questioning has been of
the multiple and it's very subjective as to what people are
willing to pay and what they think the future will be."
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony, as
prepared for delivery to the Senate Budget Committee on
Thursday, was a repeat of the remarks she delivered before a
joint House-Senate panel a day earlier.
On Wednesday, Yellen, in testimony to the Joint Economic
Committee, said a slumping housing market and geopolitical
tensions risked undermining the U.S. economy and needed to be
closely watched by the Federal Reserve.
Shares of Priceline Group Inc gained 0.7 percent to
$1,140.09, rebounding from a session low of $1,087.26 after it
reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit but forecast
second-quarter results below market estimates. Tesla Motors Inc
offered an outlook for the second quarter on Wednesday
that disappointed some investors.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 85.78 points,
or 0.52 percent, to 16,604.32, the S&P 500 gained 9.41
points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,887.62 and the Nasdaq Composite
added 37.917 points, or 0.93 percent, to 4,105.59.
Of 445 companies in the S&P 500 that reported earnings
through Wednesday morning, 68.2 percent beat expectations, above
the 63 percent average since 1994, and exceeding the 66 percent
beat rate for the past four quarters, according to Thomson
Profits are expected to rise 5.3 percent this quarter, down
from 6.5 percent estimated at the start of the year, but above
the low of 0.6 percent in mid-April, according to Thomson
Twitter Inc jumped 6.3 percent to $32.60 and Yelp
Inc advanced 5.8 percent to $55.80 after Morgan Stanley
raised its rating on both social media companies. Many of these
momentum-driven names have been under pressure recently.
Keurig Green Mountain Inc said on Wednesday it is
expanding its partnership with J.M. Smucker Co, agreeing
to make and sell Smucker coffee brands, including Folgers, in
formats compatible with new Keurig brewing systems. Shares of
the K-cup coffee pod maker surged 16.3 percent to $107.24 as the
best performer on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100
indexes. Smucker shares were up 0.9 percent at $99.48.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)