07/02/2014 09:41 AST

US stocks posted their best day of the year on Thursday after a drop in applications for unemployment insurance boosted confidence in the economy and Disney's results overshot expectations.

The rally came ahead of the widely-followed payrolls report for January due Friday, which some are expecting to be affected by the extreme weather that hit much of the United States. December's number was a much-lower-than-expected 74,000 and an upward revision wouldn't be a surprise.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 331,000. While the data has no direct bearing on January's employment report it bodes well for the jobs market and the overall economy.

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Ticker Price Volume
QNBK 123.30 103,897
MMG 0.00 0
ARNB 24.06 13,626
SABIC 100.87 2,504,855
CHEMANOL 7.11 932,192
KCBK 12.00 1,889
BURUJ 34.50 110,831
Index Closing Change
NIKKEI 225 20,299.38 389.88 (1.95%)
DAX 12,561.79 2.40 (0.01%)
S&P 500 2,506.65 2.78 (0.11%)
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