STOCKS CLIMB: Here's what you need to know

Stocks climbed higher on Thursday ahead of the September jobs report.

All three indices once again hit new record highs. The S&P 500 has climbed for eight consecutive sessions.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 22,764.96, +103.46, (+0.46%)
  • S&P 500: 2,551.47, +13.72, (+0.54%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,584.37, +49.91, (+0.76%)
  • US dollar index: 93.96, (+0.5%)

1. Wall Street hasn’t been this unsure about America’s jobs market in a long time. When the Bureau of Labour Statistics releases its jobs report for September on Friday, it’s expected to show a significant slowdown in hiring. But the gap in expectations is much wider than normal, as economists wrestle with the impact of the recent hurricanes.

2. The House passed a budget resolution on Thursday that served as the first step toward Republicans passing a massive tax reform plan. The resolution, which passed by a vote of 219 to 206, included in it instructions for what is known as budget reconciliation. Reconciliation allows a bill to pass the Senate without being subject to a 60-vote filibuster, a crucial hurdle for the GOP to move eventual tax legislation.

3. Oil climbed higher as King Salman of Saudi Arabia made a historic visit to Russia. “The Saudi visit to Russia marks a remarkable turnaround in the relationship between the two countries that had been staunch Cold War adversaries,” Helima Croft, head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note to clients.

4. Senior Saudi officials say Saudi Aramco’s IPO is on track for 2018. The plan to float around 5% of Aramco in an initial public offering (IPO) is a centrepiece of Vision 2030, a wide-ranging reform plan to diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil which is being championed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

5. Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended the Catalan parliament session planned for next Monday during which regional officials were expected to possibly vote on independence. Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s Esteban Duarte is reporting that “separatist leaders in Catalonia are seeking to avoid an immediate declaration of independence from Spain.”

6. Investors once seen at risk of extinction are headed for their best year since the financial crisis. About 54% of large-cap mutual-fund managers are beating their benchmarks in 2017, the highest-ever success rate at this time of year, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data going back to 2009.

Thursday’s economic data: Initial jobless claims fell more than expected to 260,000, down from 272,000. Factory orders rose 1.2% month-over-month in August, up from the prior month’s reading of -3.3%.


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