NEW YORK — A bright forecast from Cisco Systems and upbeat economic news sent stocks soaring Thursday and propelled the Dow Jones industrials back above 10,000.
The rally, coming a day before the government's October employment report, showed that investors are regaining their optimism about an economic recovery.
The Dow bolted up 203 points, or 2 percent, while the Nasdaq composite index, led by Cisco's outlook, rose nearly 2.5 percent. The market's move continued a streak of volatility that began last month, but this latest surge was powered not by a single event, but by a wave of good news:
* Cisco Systems Inc. boosted hopes for the technology industry after the largest maker of computer-networking gear forecast revenue growth for the first time in a year. The forecasts of CEO John Chambers carry big weight on Wall Street and his announcement that the company would begin hiring workers injected a jittery market with confidence.
* The government said the number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell to 512,000 last week, the lowest level since January and fewer than economists had forecast. Initial claims are considered a gauge of the pace of layoffs.
* Worker productivity jumped by the most in six years, rising 9.5 percent in the July-September quarter. The government figures drove hopes that lower costs would boost corporate profits. The report also illustrated, though, that many employers remain reluctant to hire.
* Retailers had higher sales for the second straight month in October after more than a year of sliding. The retail industry posted a 2.1 percent sales gain for October, according to an International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs tally. Investors are looking for any sign that consumers are willing to spend more as the holiday shopping season approaches.
Economists project that the unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in October.