Late-day rally sends stocks higher; Dow rises 143

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are closing higher after another day of big swings.

Investors struggled to make sense of mixed economic reports Thursday. First-time applications for unemployment benefits fell and the government raised its estimate of economic growth in the April-June period. But a survey showed that chief executives of the nation's largest companies are more pessimistic than they were just three months ago.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 143 points, or 1.3 percent, to 11,154. It had been down as many as 45 points. The S&P 500 index rose 9, or 0.8 percent, to 1,160. The Nasdaq composite fell 11, or 0.4 percent, to 2,481.

Three stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was about average at 4.5 billion shares.