A trader watches the recent action on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (Richard Drew / Associated…)
Stocks continued their rally on Wall Street as China lowered key interest rates to boost its slowing economy.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 129 points, or 1%, to 12,544 shortly after the opening bell.
The broader Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 13 points, or 1%, to 1,328.
The technology-focused Nasdaq was up 24 points, or 0.8%, to 2,869.
Major U.S. stock indexes surged more than 2% in trading Wednesday. The mood on Wall Street has shifted significantly from last week, when stock markets were in correction territory following a dismal U.S. employment report.
China's move was the latest monetary stimulus to raise investors' hopes. The European Central Bank on Wednesday kept rates at historic lows to aid the Eurozone's troubled banks.
Major European stock markets were up 1% to 2% Thursday.
In the U.S., speculation is growing that the Federal Reserve will take further steps to boost the U.S. economy. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was slated to testify before Congress on Thursday.
Investors also had some hopeful employment news to digest. The Labor Department reported initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 to 377,000 last week.
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