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Overnight Markets: Materials shares lift Wall Street

But disappointing forecasts from retailers and anxiety ahead of Friday's jobs report limited the advance.

 
Overnight Markets: Materials shares lift Wall Street

Wall Street rose for a second day on Thursday amid a rally in raw-material and industrial shares, though disappointing forecasts from retailers and anxiety ahead of Friday's jobs report limited the advance.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 80 points, or 0.49%, to end at 16,417, the S&P 500 gained three points, or 0.15%, to 1,915 and the Nasdaq Composite added five points, or 0.12%, to 4,510.

Shares of large banks and materials and industrials companies, which are down sharply so far this year, were the biggest gainers Thursday.

The S&P 500 materials index rose 2.8%, as declines in the US dollar lifted copper and other metals prices. Shares of aluminum producer Alcoa rose 10%.

Economic data showed non-farm productivity declined in the fourth quarter at its fastest pace in more than a year, while new orders for US factory goods also fell in December by the most in a year.

The weaker data came ahead of Friday's key monthly jobs report from the US government, which is expected to show 190,000 non-farm jobs added in January.

Consumer-related shares were among the day's biggest losers in the S&P 500 after retailers Ralph Lauren (RL.N) and Kohl's (KSS.N) warned of a tough year ahead. Ralph Lauren sank 22.2%, while Kohl's fell 18.8%, the two biggest percentage decliners in the S&P 500.

The consumer discretionary index was down 0.6%, while S&P staples fell 0.9%. GoPro (GPRO.O) fell 8.7% after the camera maker forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts' estimates.

After the bell, shares of LinkedIn (LNKD.N) dropped 24% following the networking site operator's results and forecast.

In Asia, shares were trading mixed on Friday in morning trade as a newly weaker dollar brought fresh concerns, despite a positive finish on Wall Street overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei extended losses, with the index falling 1.18% on the back of a stronger yen. Down Under, Australia's ASX 200 was down 0.64%. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi initially opened down 0.28% before retracing losses to trade up 0.18%.

In China, the Shanghai composite was up 0.12%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.90%.

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