Dow soars 300 points as day-trader restrictions soothe market nerves

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Dow soars 300 points as day-trader restrictions soothe market nerves
Reuters / Brendan McDermid

US stocks moved higher on Thursday as several brokerage firms placed trading restrictions on a handful of volatile stocks popular with Reddit traders.

Robinhood, Interactive Brokers, and Webull restricted its users from buying volatile stocks that have been in a short squeeze fueled by traders on Reddit's Wall Street Bets forum.

The move triggered a massive decline in names like GameStop, BlackBerry, and AMC Entertainment.

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Additionally, weekly jobless claims fell to a three-week low, hitting 847,000. That is better than analysts' expectations of 875,000 jobless claims and represented a 7% decline from last week's figure.

Continuing claims, which track Americans receiving unemployment-insurance payments, dropped to 4.8 million for the week that ended January 16. Economists expected continuing claims to total 5.1 million.

Here's where US indexes stood after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:

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The epic short squeeze in GameStop briefly continued in early Thursday trades, with shares soaring as much as 40% to almost $500 in the premarket session. But Robinhood's decision to limit trading in the stock deflated Thursday's rally, with the stock ultimately falling more than 30%.

American Airlines benefited from Reddit traders pitching the stock as a short-squeeze candidate. The stock soared as much as 31% after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

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Apple's fourth-quarter earnings report beat analyst expectations by a mile, but the stock still traded lower by about 1%. Tesla fell 4% on Thursday after the company's fourth-quarter earnings report failed to meet analyst expectations.

Oil prices fell. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped as much as 1.02% to $52.31 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, fell 0.52% to $55.52 per barrel.

Gold dropped 0.16% to $1,841.80 per ounce.

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Read more: Billionaire investor Mario Gabelli started investing when Eisenhower was president. He told us how he leverages almost 5 decades of experience to identify winning stocks - and shared 5 of his favorite picks.

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