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Friday, June 10, 2011

Stocks rally after six-session losing streak (ext)

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks snapped a six-day losing streak on Thursday, with banks, utilities and energy shares leading the advance.

The gains offered some welcome relief for Wall Street investors, who have been feeling the heat during the longest losing streak since July 2010.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) gained 75 points, or 0.6%, to close at 12,124; the S&P 500 (SPX) added 9 points, or 0.4%, to 1,289; and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) rose 9.5 points, or 0.4%, to end at 2,685.

Still, market sentiment remains pessimistic. The Dow and S&P 500 are still on pace to post their sixth-consecutive weekly loss.

Analysts said trading will likely remain choppy as uncertainty continues to weigh on investors' minds.

"Until we get through the next few weeks and start to see additional economic data, and see what the Fed does in respect to QE2 or a successor to QE2, we're going to be in a period of disappointing news and heightened uncertainty," said Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank.

Trading volume was also light, with slightly more than 3 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, another sign that Thursday's rally might be short lived.

"There's certainly no conviction in this market based on the volume we have," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical analyst with Schaeffer's Investment Research.

The Labor Department released its weekly initial jobless claims data, showing that 427,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week. That was slightly higher than expected, and marked the ninth straight week that the figure stayed above 400,000.

The government also issued its monthly report on the U.S. trade balance, showing the gap narrowed to $43.7 billion in April, instead of the expected widening.

Investors also got the Federal Reserve's "Flow of Funds" data, which showed Americans' net worth fell by $16.4 trillion from its peak in spring 2007.

The dollar was higher against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen .

Oil for July delivery gained $1.19, or 1.2%, to $101.93 a barrel. On Wednesday, oil prices jumped nearly 2% after OPEC failed to reach an agreement on crude production levels.

Gold futures for August delivery rose $4 to $1,547.70 an ounce. Silver prices jumped 2% to $37.32 an ounce.

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