US STOCKS-Wall St up more than 1 pct for 2nd day; Fed, ECB lift
* Jobless claims fall
* Brent crude holds near $51 a barrel
* Retailers climb after sales results
* Indexes up: Dow 1.7 pct, S&P 1.7, Nasdaq 1.9 pct (Updates to afternoon trading, changes byline)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks jumped more than 1 percent for a second day in afternoon trading on Thursday, lifted by expectations the U.S. economy will continue to accelerate and the European Central Bank will take more aggressive action.
The advance was broad, with the materials, energy and technology sectors each up more than 2 percent.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits were slightly above expectations but slipped from the prior week, pointing to a firming labor market, ahead of the monthly payrolls report on Friday.
Stocks on Wednesday snapped a five-day losing streak after strong private sector jobs data and as minutes from the most recent Federal Reserve meeting reassured investors the bank was in no hurry to start raising interest rates. Continuación...