- Stock ended higher on Thursday on the back of strong earnings and encouraging jobless data.
- The move retraces some ground lost Wednesday after ADP data showed private hiring slowing.
- Oil prices climbed while gold slipped.
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US stocks closed higher on Thursday with the S&P 500 hitting a fresh record high as investors cheered solid corporate earnings and strong jobless claims data.
The benchmark S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose toward record highs on Thursday led by bank, technology, and travel shares.
Strong corporate earnings have pushed the three major indexes higher amid various concerns threatening the pandemic recovery, such as the rise of the delta variant and rising inflation.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Thursday:
- S&P 500: 4,429.11, up 0.6%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 35,063.86, up 0.78% (271.19 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 14,895.12, up 0.78%
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped less than expected last week, according to the Labor Department, capping off a volatile month that signaled a slowing of the labor market’s rebound.
Jobless claims dipped to an unadjusted 385,000, compared to a median estimate of 383,000 claims from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The reading also keeps claims well above the pandemic-era low set earlier in July.
While jobless claims have been erratic over the last few months, the drop in data suggests more people are taking jobs, according to Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial. The historic trade deficit that surged to a record high in June is also a testament to the demand seen from consumers.
Meanwhile, shares of Robinhood tumbled 27% after major shareholders filed to sell 98 million shares, taking the wind out of a massive two-day rally less than a week since the popular trading app made its Nasdaq debut.
Oil prices reversed the previous day’s losses. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.35% to $US69.07 ($AU94) per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, climbed 1.31%, to $US71.30 ($AU97) per barrel.
Gold slipped by 0.41%, to $US1,804.33 ($AU2,458) per ounce.