US STOCKS-Wall St jumps for second day on Fed, ECB lift
* Initial claims fall by 4,000
* Brent crude holds near $51 a barrel
* Retailers climb after sales results
* Indexes up: Dow 1.52 pct, S&P 1.47, Nasdaq 1.59 pct (Updates to midday trading)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks surged for a second day on Thursday, after equities snapped a five-session streak of losses in the prior session, on expectations for continued acceleration in the U.S. economy and more aggressive action by the European Central Bank.
The advance was broad, with 9 of the 10 major S&P sectors gaining at least 1 percent.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits were slightly above expectations but slipped by 4,000 from the prior week, pointing to a firming labor market, ahead of the monthly payrolls report on Friday.
"What has occurred the past couple of days is that the market has focused back on what are still good fundamentals for equities. There is a Fed that is going to be patient and pretty transparent on when they are going to raise rates and an economy that is doing pretty well," said Sean Lynch, co-head of global equity strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute in Omaha. Continuación...