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US stocks soared on Thursday, with major indexes up more than 1.5 percent in a broad rally, as strong results from industrial bellwethers reassured investors that corporations continue to fare well despite concerns about global economic growth. The advance extended a recent bout of strength for equities. The S&P 500 has posted a gain of 0.9 percent or more in four of the past five sessions, putting it less than 3 percent from its record close. After a four-week string of declines, the S&P is up 3.7 percent this week, on track for its biggest weekly advance since January 2013.

US stocks erased earlier gains to close lower on Wednesday as a shooting at the Canadian parliament unnerved investors, Boeing and Biogen sold off following results, and energy stocks fell along with oil prices. Indexes had traded in positive territory for much of the session, putting the S&P 500 on track for a fifth straight day of gains. Earnings initially drove the move higher, with technology and material shares up on the back of strong results.
Tokyo stocks slipped 0.37 percent Thursday on profit-taking after the previous day's hefty gains and following a sell-off on Wall Street. The Nikkei 225 index at the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell 56.81 points to finish at 15,138.96. The broader Topix index of all first-section shares lost 0.33 percent, or 4.07 points, to close at 1,232.34. The "sharp run-up is inviting yet another day of profit-taking", said Daisuke Uno, strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.
Britain's top equity index recovered late on Thursday and ended slightly higher, tracking a broad rally in US stocks following some strong earnings results, although a slump in Tesco and Unilever capped gains. The UK market was also supported by a 3.4 percent rise in shares of British Airways owner IAG after Credit Suisse added the company to its "Focus List".
European stocks ended higher in choppy trade on Thursday, buoyed by strength on Wall Street but hindered by weak corporate results from companies including French tyre-maker Michelin. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 also benefited from better-than-expected euro zone business activity data, although it still spent most of the day in negative territory until US stock futures turned higher.
Indian shares rose in a special "muhurat" trading session for Diwali on Thursday, led by gains in Suzlon Energy Ltd while hopes for continued foreign fund inflows into the country also boosted sentiment. Sentiment for stocks remains supported by hopes for more economic reforms after the government earlier this week lifted price controls on diesel and set the stage for liberalisation of the coal industry.
Hong Kong stocks slipped 0.30 percent Thursday on profit-taking after a four-day rally, while investors were unimpressed after a closely watched index of Chinese manufacturing showed a slight improvement. The Hang Seng Index fell 70.79 points to 23,333.18 on turnover of HK$50.57 billion ($6.53 billion). The index had put on about 2.2 percent since Friday as last week's losses fuelled by concerns over the global economy eased, and traders had also been following a strong US rally.
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Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 16,677.90 1.32
Arrow Nasdaq 4,452.79 1.60
Arrow S&P 1,950.82 1.23
Arrow FTSE 6,419.15 0.30
Arrow DAX 9,047.31 1.20
Arrow CAC-40 4,157.68 1.28
Arrow Nikkei 15,138.96 0.37
Arrow H.Seng 23,333.18 0.30
Arrow Sensex 26,851.05 0.24

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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.807 bln
Exports $1.911 bln
Imports $4.718 bln
WeeklyOctober 23, 2014
Reserves $13.465 bln