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S&P 500, Dow hit record highs after upbeat jobless claims data

Economic IndicatorsMar 11, 2021 12:00PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Dividers are seen inside a trading post on the trading floor as preparations are made for the return to trading at the NYSE in New York

By Medha Singh and Shashank Nayar

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow indexes hit all-time highs on Thursday as worries about rising inflation subsided, while a bigger-than-expected fall in weekly jobless claims reinforced expectations of a labor market recovery.

Mega-cap stocks Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc gained between 2.2% and 3.6%, recouping losses from a recent pullback and helping the benchmark S&P 500 surpass its Feb. 16 peak of 3,950.43.

The blue-chip Dow hit an all-time high for the fourth straight session, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is now about 5% below its Feb. 12 record close after slumping as much as 12% from that level last week.

Fewer than expected Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week as an improving public health environment allows more segments of the economy to reopen.

"The drop in jobless claims is another win for the week, and a solid sign that we're making some strides toward pre-pandemic life," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*TRADE Financial.

The benchmark Treasury yields were at 1.53% but below 1.6% ahead of an auction of U.S. 30-year debt later in the day. A weak seven-year auction in late February fueled inflation concerns and sent yields higher.

"The markets appear to have mostly adjusted (to higher yields). However, we still need to see how the market digests the 30-year auction today," Eric Merlis, head of global markets trading at Citizens, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum.

The Dow on Wednesday logged a record closing high for the first time in two weeks as tepid inflation numbers allayed fears that the economy is running too hot while a sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill received a final nod from Congress.

Financial and industrials lagged on Thursday after outperforming other major S&P sectors this year as they are seen benefiting from a reopening economy. Tech and consumer discretionary, the two stay-at-home beneficiaries which had recently taken a beating, jumped 2.6% and 1.8%.

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 gained 56.13 points, or 1.44%, to 3,954.94 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 325.20 points, or 2.49%, to 13,393.58.

Wall Street's fear gauge hit a two-week low at 21.65 points.

Bumble Inc jumped about 14% after it reported a bigger-than-estimated rise in fourth-quarter revenue and said it expected pent-up demand from people who had been avoiding dating in person due to the pandemic.

A so-called "meme" stock AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) Holdings Inc gained 5% as the cinema chain said the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and the release of major movies would boost sales this year.

Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) slumped 7% as the business software maker's cloud division reported quarterly revenue that missed analysts' estimates on increased competition from Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corp.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.7-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 3.6-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 68 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 369 new highs and 18 new lows.

S&P 500, Dow hit record highs after upbeat jobless claims data
 

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Comments (14)
Shane Gg
Shane Gg Mar 11, 2021 12:52PM ET
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Glad inflation is no longer a concern. What a difference a couple days make, eh?
Matt Kay
Matt Kay Mar 11, 2021 12:46PM ET
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Guys, take a look at IWM (aka russell 2000) chart of 5 - 10 years and tell me if last few months look normal to you :D
michael engel
michael engel Mar 11, 2021 12:31PM ET
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1) QQQ reached the top of the  loud. 2) It might move to the cloud top, to the head bump, on the right. 2) QQQ NR & H&S. 3) If valid it will lead to correction. 4) It might be a Bear Trap.
Better late than never
Better late than never Mar 11, 2021 12:24PM ET
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What's wrong here? Stock, oil, gold increase?
sal galeano
sal galeano Mar 11, 2021 12:08PM ET
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over 700k an entire city worth had to claim jobless. "that's good" this market is anemic.
ZS Beck
ZS Beck Mar 11, 2021 12:08PM ET
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Don’t expect too much change in numbers on unemployment till October.Gig workers are no rush to go back to work. They collect 600$ minimum a week. Most of them just sit home happily.
perplexed76 .
perplexed76 . Mar 11, 2021 12:06PM ET
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i offer to celibrate reaching pre pandemic level of weekly jobless claims by making Dow 50,000
James Pattison
James Pattison Mar 11, 2021 12:05PM ET
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The safest stock on the market is AMC... little apes together strong...
James Pattison
James Pattison Mar 11, 2021 12:04PM ET
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They know this ends with massive poverty... but thats what democrat politics is all about... a permanent under class...
sal galeano
sal galeano Mar 11, 2021 12:04PM ET
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shutt deefuq up
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Mar 11, 2021 12:04PM ET
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yawn......
James Pattison
James Pattison Mar 11, 2021 12:03PM ET
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712,000 initial jobless claims is “upbeat” ehat world are ypu living in??
Bhagwan Dass
Bhagwan Dass Mar 11, 2021 11:59AM ET
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fail President of America take every commidty price dobule.
John Thompson
John Thompson Mar 11, 2021 11:45AM ET
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same old BS same old fraud instigated by that fraud Greenspan  US cant pay it debts 140% ++ overextended on tax receipts can only  pay its debts back by  capital gains tax keep the fraud running by printing to infinity the party will end forever very soon sic
CHAD TENDIES
CHAD TENDIES Mar 11, 2021 9:47AM ET
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Nearly the entire GDP of the USA is printed money gambling on options and stocks while buying goods from china LOL
Jim Jones
Jim Jones Mar 11, 2021 7:15AM ET
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73 percent of the last $600 set of welfare checks went to savings or stocks. Now Congress is doubling down and sending 70+ percent of 250 billion dollars into the market. It's like being at a casino that gives you free money and guarantees you can't lose.
Mustbe Moore
Mustbe Moore Mar 11, 2021 7:15AM ET
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It’s basically just the Wall St treatment of the last few decades for everbody now. Yet “inflation worries ease”...
 
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