Stocks are rallying, Dow up 248

Stocks opened higher on Thursday, and all ten S&P 500 sectors are in the green.

Near 9:38 a.m. ET, the Dow was up 236 points, the S&P 500 was up 25 points, and the Nasdaq was up 64 points.

Stocks closed lower on Wednesday.

Yesterday’s three-hour-long outage at the New York Stock Exchange was likely triggered by a software upgrade, according to Bloomberg, citing two people familiar with the situation.

The halt was the biggest disruption to the US stock market since the Nasdaq blacked out in 2013.

In economic data, initial jobless claims rose more than expected (297,000 versus 275,000 estimated,) and economists say it’s a seasonal anomaly.

“In one line: Seasonal chaos begins; expect more volatility for the next couple of weeks,” wrote Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson in a note to clients.

Barclays noted: “Between the holiday week and the seasonal retooling shutdowns at auto factories that are typical this time of year, we are inclined to look through the volatility in this morning’s report.”

Crude oil prices rallied more than 3% following the selloff that took West Texas Intermediate crude futures to a three-month low. WTI climbed to as high as $US53.53 on Thursday morning.

PepsiCo reported second-quarter profits that topped estimates, helped by growth in its beverages business. The company posted adjusted earnings per share of $US1.33 (versus $US1.24 estimated, according to Bloomberg) on sales of $US15.92 billion (versus $US15.8 billion estimated.)

Goldman is recommending selling Shake Shack shares. Analysts cut their outlook on the stock in a note on Thursday, saying that it’s too expensive, and the IPO lockup expiration is coming July 29.

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