Dow climbs 377 points as bank-stock rally outweighs historic unemployment filings

  • US stocks rose on Thursday as a torrid rally in bank stocks outweighed another dismal jobless-claims report.
  • Bank of America, JPMorgan, and Wells Fargo were among the biggest gainers among financial firms in the S&P 500.
  • Last week, 3 million Americans filed for unemployment, bringing the eight-week total to more than 36 million.
  • Geopolitical tensions escalated after President Donald Trump told Fox Business on Thursday that the US could “cut off” its relationship with China.
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks rose on Thursday, reversing earlier losses, as an afternoon rally in bank stocks outweighed another dismal jobless-claims report.

Stocks slumped at in early trading after a report showed 3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, more than the consensus forecast from economists. That brought the eight-week total to more than 36 million, though it marked the sixth straight week of declines for the measure.

Stocks climbed into positive territory later in the day as firms like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, and Bank of America climbed more than 4%.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Thursday:

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“Although the initial deluge of unemployment claims is slowing, the labour market likely has further to fall as states chip away at backlogged claims and employers navigate reopening amid a continued health crisis,” Daniel Zhao, an economist at Glassdoor, told Business Insider. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

The gains were a reversal of stock-market weakness the prior day. Major equity indexes dipped Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the US economy could be permanently damaged absent further government intervention.

House Democrats have proposed a $US3 trillion package to extend further relief, though it will face opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate. A vote likely won’t come before Friday.

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There are also signs of rising trade tensions between the US and China. President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox Business on Thursday that he could “cut off” the nation’s relationship with China and that he did not want to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping right now.

Oil rose following a monthly report from the International Energy Agency identifying signs of recovery in the market. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 11%, to $US27.96 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 7.4%, to $US31.35 at intraday highs.

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