News: S&P 500, Dow hit record highs after upbeat jobless claims data.
(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and Dow indexes hit all-time highs Thursday as concerns about rising inflation subsided, while an unexpectedly sharp drop in weekly jobless claims heightened expectations for a labor market recovery.
Mega-Cap-Shares Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc and Tesla Inc rose between 2.2% and 3.6%, offsetting losses from a recent pullback and helping the S&P 500 benchmark beat its February 3 high of 3,950.43.
The blue-chip Dow hit an all-time high for the fourth consecutive year, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is now about 5% below its February 12 record, after falling as much as 12% from that level last week.
Less than expected Americans filed new jobless claims last week as an improving public health environment has allowed more industries to reopen.
“The decline in unemployment claims is another win for the week and a solid sign that we are making some progress towards a life before the pandemic,” said Mike Loewengart, chief executive officer, investment strategy, E * TRADE Financial.
Benchmark government bond yields were 1.53% but below 1.6% before auctioning 30-year US debt later in the day. A weak seven-year auction in late February raised concerns about inflation and increased yields.
“The markets seem to have adjusted for the most part (for higher returns). We have yet to see the market digest the 30 year auction today, ”Eric Merlis, head of global market trading at Citizens, told Reuters Global Markets Forum.
The Dow hit a record high for the first time in two weeks on Wednesday as lukewarm inflation numbers allayed fears the economy was overheating while a sweeping $ 1.9 trillion COVID-19 bailout from Congress one last Nod received.
Financials and industrials lagged Thursday after outperforming other major S&P sectors this year as they benefit from a re-opening economy. Tech and consumer discretion, the two recently-hit beneficiaries who stayed at home, rose 2.6% and 1.8%, respectively.
At 11:36 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 354.47 points, or 1.10%, to 32,651.49, the S&P 500 rose 56.13 points, or 1.44%, to 3,954.94, and the Nasdaq Composite by 325.20 points or 2.49% to 13,393.58.
The Wall Street fear display hit a two-week low of 21.65 points.
Bumble Inc rose roughly 14% after sales rose above estimates in the fourth quarter and expected pent-up demand from people who had avoided meeting in person due to the pandemic.
A “meme” stock called AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc rose 5% as the cinema chain said the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines and the release of major movies would boost sales this year.
Oracle Corp slumped 7% as the business software maker’s cloud division reported quarterly sales that topped analysts’ estimates of increasing competition from Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp. missed.
Progressive issues outpaced declines by a ratio of 3.7 to 1 on the NYSE and a ratio of 3.6 to 1 on the Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 made 68 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq made 369 new highs and 18 new lows.
Reporting by Shashank Nayar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Lisa Pauline Mattackal; Adaptation by Maju Samuel
Original Source © Reuters