Housing, job data push S&P to five-year high; Intel down late

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK (Reuters) – Stronger-than-expected data on housing starts and jobless claims lit a fire under stocks on Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 to a five-year high and its third day of gains. A pair of economic reports lifted investors' sentiment. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a five-year low last week and housing starts jumped last month to the highest since June 2008. Strength in the housing and labor markets is key to sustained growth and higher corporate profits, helping to bring out buyers even on a day when earnings reports were mixed. …


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