By CHRIS DIETERICH
NEW YORK—Europe’s top central banker sparked a stock-market rally after reassuring investors the European Central Bank will be vigilant about holding together the euro zone.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 188 points, or 1.5%, to 12862 in Thursday morning trading. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index surged 18 points, or 1.4%, to 1356 and the Nasdaq Composite Index added 39 points, or 1.4%, to 2893.
All 10 of the S&P 500’s sectors gained; telecommunications and technology companies paced the rally.
Shares of 3M
led all 30 of the Dow’s blue chips higher as the company’s second-quarter earnings topped analyst estimates, and it maintained its full-year outlook.
Zynga plunged after the videogame maker missed second-quarter expectations and slashed its outlook for the year, citing delays in launching new games and a more challenging environment on Facebook
. Shares of that social-media giant sank ahead of its first quarterly earnings report as a publicly traded company, due after Thursday’s close.
But the real fuel for Thursday’s gains came from Mario Draghi, who said the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the common-currency union. The central bank president indicated the ECB’s willingness to restart bond purchases at a time when Spanish government bond yields have hit all-time highs.
European markets turned sharply higher after the statement, and the Stoxx Europe 600 jumped 2.3%.
Mr. Draghi’s statement was “very emphatic, and it was clearly meant to dispel some of the panic,” said Christian Bertelsen of Global Financial Private Capital.
“Watching Europe has been a like watching reruns, and I’ve been a little cynical about enthusiasm [about statements from leaders] wearing thin. But [Draghi’s comments] show that they aren’t going to allow a collapse,” he added.
Investors also were encouraged by a pair of better-than-expected economic reports. A reading from the Labor Department showed the number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment benefits fell for the fourth time in five weeks, to a level that was far lower than expected. At the same time, orders for durable goods rose in June more than was forecast on a surge of aircraft sales.
Asian markets were mostly higher, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rising 0.9% to snap a four-session losing streak. But China’s Shanghai Composite slipped 0.5% to close at the lowest level seen since March 2009.
Crude-oil futures climbed 1.3% to $90.16 a barrel, while gold futures gained 0.7% to $1618 a troy ounce. The U.S. dollar fell against the euro, but edged up against the yen. The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury rose to 1.431% as demand fell.
Among other stocks, United Technologies
rose after the conglomerate agreed to sell some industrial products businesses to BC Partners and The Carlyle Group
for $3.46 billion.
firmed after the company reported second-quarter earnings rose 49%, although exploration and production profits fell on lower energy prices and production.
surged after the telecom company reported a narrower-than-expected second-quarter loss on higher-than-anticipated revenue and a gain in contract subscribers.
fell after the company’s second-quarter earnings and revenue missed estimate, citing declining prices resulting from a slowdown in global economic growth.
jumped after the hard-disk drive maker reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that were well above forecasts and provided an upbeat outlook for the current fiscal year.
Whole Foods Market
rallied after the grocer reported fiscal third-quarter earnings that topped estimates and raised its full-year outlook.
Energy partnership Northern Tier Energy
struggled to post gains in its stock-market debut.
Write to Chris Dieterich at email@example.com