President Barack Obama's job approval rating has shown modest improvement in the past week. His latest rating, based on Oct. 24-26 Gallup Daily tracking, is 43%, and his approval has been at or above 42% in each of the last seven days. In the prior two weeks, his averages were generally at or below 40%.
The increase in Obama's approval rating could be tied to two recent major foreign policy events -- the death of Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi and Obama's announcement that virtually all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq by Dec. 31. Additionally, the U.S. stock market has shown gains this month, particularly in the past week.
The bit of positive momentum in Americans' evaluations of the president reverses the generally downward trend seen in recent months, including a personal low 41% quarterly approval average in his recently completed 11th quarter in office.
Stocks closed higher on Thursday after European leaders agreed on a plan to avert a Greek default and the Commerce Department announced third-quarter gross domestic product grew 2.5 percent, boosted by higher consumer spending, allaying fears that the economy is slipping into another recession.
The Dow Jones industrial average increased about 2.9 percent to 12,209 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq increased about 3.3 percent to 2,784 at the end of the day. The S&P 500 had its biggest monthly rally since 1974, according to Bloomberg, increasing 3.4 percent to 1,285.
The GDP rate was in line with what economists were expecting. The 2.5 percent growth rate is almost triple the 0.9 percent pace of economic growth in the first half of this year, which has been far too slow to generate any job growth. Unemployment has remained stubbornly high at over 9 percent.
"Clearly today's GDP report is indicative of an economy that is extractating itself from a temporary soft patch, and not one that is rolling into another recession," Phil Orlando, chief equity strategist with Federated Investors, said.