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Nasdaq, S&P 500, set records as jobless claims decline

Stock MarketsAug 05, 2021 06:57PM ET
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© Reuters. Signage is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 4, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Echo Wang

(Reuters) - The Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed at record levels on Thursday after a spate of strong corporate earnings and a further decline in U.S. unemployment claims last week, as investors weighed concerns of the surge of the Delta variant ahead of Friday's job's report.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 14,000 to 385,000 in the week ended July 31, while layoffs dropped to their lowest level in more than 21 years last month as companies held on to their workers amid a labor shortage, the Labor Department's report showed.

"The directional change has continued to be improving in the last few weeks and now it's a new low since beginning the pandemic," said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta, Georgia. "I think that's what (is) kind of leading to some optimism today and earnings to this point have been positive."

Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes rose, with healthcare stocks in the red as Cigna Corp (NYSE:CI) slipped 10.9% after predicting a bigger hit to full-year earnings from the pandemic.

Focus will now shift to the jobs report for July on Friday. Analysts say a disappointing number might raise questions about an economic recovery, but it could also lead the Federal Reserve to remain accommodative.

Meanwhile, Robinhood Markets Inc (NASDAQ:HOOD) tumbled 27.6%, snapping a four-day rally fueled by interest from retail traders.

ViacomCBS (NASDAQ:VIAC) Inc jumped 7.1% as the company said it signed up the highest number of new streaming subscribers in the second quarter, and struck a multi-year deal with Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA)'s Sky to launch the Paramount+ streaming service in Europe.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 271.58 points, or 0.78%, to 35,064.25, the S&P 500 gained 26.44 points, or 0.60%, to 4,429.1 and the Nasdaq Composite added 114.58 points, or 0.78%, to 14,895.12.

Concerns about the pace of economic growth and higher inflation have pressured the S&P 500 index, but stellar corporate earnings so far have put it on track to end the week higher.

Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida, a major architect of the central bank's new policy strategy, said on Wednesday he felt the conditions for raising interest rates could be met by the end of 2022.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 8.86 billion shares, compared with the 9.63 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 2.06-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 2.26-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 52 new 52-week highs and 4 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 111 new highs and 103 new lows.

Nasdaq, S&P 500, set records as jobless claims decline
 

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Comments (6)
Boguslav Golostenov
Boguslav Golostenov Aug 05, 2021 4:33PM ET
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This is not very popular with people who bet on wallstreetbets ...
Stan Smith
Stan Smith Aug 05, 2021 12:29PM ET
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Rogue Asteroid will hit Earth within 2 weeks and destroy all known life...Bulls roar and Stocks soar!!
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Aug 05, 2021 10:56AM ET
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B/s by Reuters, robinhood jumped 24, then 46% yesterday, nasdaq was flat. Today rh is down and nasdaq is up. This is just Another paid article.
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Aug 05, 2021 10:54AM ET
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The flagrant quest for NASDAQ 15K continues in the laughingstock of the financial world, as the fraud and criminal manipulation goes pedal to the metal.  Assume the proper position America.
Rosh Jardine
RoshJardine Aug 05, 2021 10:15AM ET
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Although i am profiting from this but still the manipulation is too obvious and people who invest and who are with less experience and risk management knowledge in capital market are going to be in trouble only to make the rich richer
Mitchel Pioneer
Mitchel Pioneer Aug 05, 2021 10:01AM ET
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Another award winning performance by the biggest investment joke in the world.  Wednesday's loss will miraculously vanish by the close on Friday, as the US working class is sent into yet another weekend with a financial knife in their back.  Laughable.
Michael Brown
Michael Brown Aug 05, 2021 10:01AM ET
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welcome to trading 101 how to be rich on the expense of the poor people
Frank Taylor
Frank Taylor Aug 05, 2021 10:01AM ET
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diminishing our currency screws those that save for their future unless they are invested in the ponzie market to try and stay even with inflation.
 
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