Dow soars 318 points to record high as investors weigh new economic-recovery data

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed to a record high on Thursday.
  • Stocks found support as fewer-than-expected Americans filed for jobless benefits.
  • Home Depot, P&G and Apple were all up, helping the Dow push to fresh highs.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average notched a new record high Thursday as stocks pegged to the reopening of the economy got a boost from new labor-market data.

The blue-chips index pushed higher with retailer Home Depot and consumer products giant Procter & Gamble among the best performing shares. Companies with exposure to economic recovery have largely advanced this year on the back of data showing the world’s largest economy is improving after the recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Labor Department on Thursday said jobless claims totaled an unadjusted level of 498,000 last week. That was less than the 538,000 claims expected, on average, by economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The reading marked a new low for the pandemic era and was the fourth consecutive weekly decline. The April jobs report due Friday could show US payrolls jumped to 938,000, according to an Econoday estimate.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday:

  • S&P 500: 4,201.56, up 0.82%
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average: 34,546.56, up0.92% (316.22 points)
  • Nasdaq Composite: 13,632.84, up 0.37%

Apple and Microsoft shrugged off earlier losses, aiding the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended higher, though was in the red for most of the day.

Hilary Kramer, chief investment officer at Kramer Capital Research, noted that tech stocks are still struggling even as borrowing costs as implied by the 10-year Treasury yield have fallen below 1.6% after hitting 14-months highs above 1.7% earlier this year.

Nasdaq “valuations are completely out of whack with where we are with Main Street,” she told Insider on Thursday. “We have help-wanted signs everywhere from restaurants to mechanics shops … and what’s going to happen is people are going to stop spending.” She added that these pressures are being pulled forward to put the squeeze on tech stocks.

Around the markets, Etsy shares tumbled to five-month lows after the online marketplace said it expects quarterly sales on its platform to slow.

Peloton’s 15% sell-off following a treadmill recall has created a buying opportunity, according to Credit Suisse.

Gold rose 1.6% to $1,814.07 per ounce. Long-dated US treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield at 1.561%.

Oil prices declined. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.2% to $64.83 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, lost 1.2% to $68.11 per barrel.

Bitcoinfell 3% to $55,475.

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