A sign for Wall Street is seen just outside the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Timothy A. Clary, AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK (AP) - Investors are hoping the major stock market indexes will rise for a fifth straight day.
The rally on Wall Street continued yesterday as strong sales reports boosted retail stocks.
The discount chain Ross Stores jumped 6 percent, the best gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. The company said stronger sales in March will likely push profits above its previous estimate this quarter.
Also, the surprising drop in claims for unemployment benefits last week gave investors more encouragement. Analysts say it could mean a slowdown in hiring last month may have been temporary.
The Dow Jones industrial average yesterday gained nearly 63 points to close at 14,865, an increase of 0.4 percent. The S&P 500 index rose 5 1/2 points, also 0.4 percent, to 1,593. And the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose nearly 3 points.