NEW YORK — A late surge sent the stock market sharply higher after a report said major central banks would be ready to pump money into the financial system if needed.
The Reuters report said major central banks were preparing for coordinated action if the results of Greek elections on Sunday strain global financial markets.
The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 155 points to close at 12,652 on Thursday. That's a gain of 1.2 percent. The Dow jumped about 100 points after the report came out.
The Standard & Poor's 500 increased 14 points to 1,329. The Nasdaq composite gained 18 to 2,836.
More than two stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Trading volume was lighter than average at 3.6 billion shares.
Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose last week, according to the latest government report. The four-week average increased a third straight week, another sign the jobs market remains weak.
The government's main measure of U.S. consumer prices fell in May by 0.3 percent, the biggest drop since December 2008. Analysts said the slowdown in price increases could make it more likely the Fed will announce new steps to boost the economy when it meets next week. Low inflation gives the Fed more leeway to inject money into the financial system, keep interest rates low and encourage borrowing.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 91 points at 12,587 at 1:30 p.m. Walt Disney rose 2 percent, the most of the 30 stocks in the Dow.
“The markets are higher, I think, because there are enough investors who believe that this morning's data on prices and jobless claims increase the case for more Fed easing as soon as next week's meeting,” said Clark Yingst, market analyst at securities and banking firm Joseph Gunnar.