Nasdaq closes at record high as Congress inches toward stimulus deal
- US stocks closed mixed on Thursday amid falling jobless claims and new hopes for a stimulus deal.
- The Nasdaq composite closed at all-time highs, while the S&P 500 lost its record close in the final hour of trading.
- New weekly claims for unemployment insurance totaled an unadjusted 712,000 for the week that ended Saturday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected a reading of 775,000.
- Lawmakers warmed up to the $908 billion proposal Democratic leaders embraced on Wednesday, placing new pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to reach a compromise.
- Oil gained after OPEC+ decided to gradually reverse some production cuts. West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.2%, to $45.84 per barrel, before paring losses.
- Watch major indexes update live here.
US equities closed mixed as investors cheered encouraging jobless claims data and progress toward a stimulus-package compromise.
Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Thursday:
- S&P 500: 3,666.72, down 0.1%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 29,969.52, up 0.3% (86 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 12,377.18, up 0.2%
Continuing claims, which track Americans receiving unemployment benefits, fell to 5.5 million for the week that ended November 21. That also landed below the consensus estimate.Some economists fear the decline in jobless claims can largely be attributed to the Thanksgiving holiday, and that filings will again swing higher in the coming weeks. "The drop in claims reported today reverses the increases of the past two weeks, but it would be a mistake to regard the decline as mere mean reversion," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said. "The drop is the fluke, not the increases which preceded it."
Investors will get another look at how the labor market is recovering on Friday when the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes its November nonfarm payrolls report. Economists expect the US economy to have added 486,000 payrolls through the month. The unemployment rate is forecasted to dip 0.1 points to 6.8%.Utilities and materials lagged the market's upswing. Energy and real estate stocks outperformed.
Thursday's gains pull the S&P 500 to record highs for the third straight day. Stocks erased morning losses and closed higher on Wednesday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer backed the $908 billion stimulus measure.
Boeing led the Dow higher as shares surged on optimism around the return of its 737 Max jet. Ryanair Holdings placed a 75-jet order for the model, marking the largest purchase yet since the plane was grounded nearly two years ago.Tesla gained after Goldman Sachs upgraded its shares to "buy" from "neutral" in a note to clients. The bank also lifted its price target for the automaker to $780, implying a 37% rally from Wednesday's close over the next 12 months.
CrowdStrike jumped after its fiscal third-quarter report beat expectations for profit and revenue. The cybersecurity firm also lifted its current-quarter guidance above Wall Street's estimates.Bitcoin rose to a 24-hour high of $19,614.08, before paring some gains.
Spot gold gained much as 0.7%, to $1,844.02 per ounce. The US dollar weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers, while Treasury yields dipped.Oil prices edged higher after OPEC+ decided to gradually reverse production cuts. West Texas Intermediate crude gained as much as 1.2%, to $45.84 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, rose 1.4%, to $48.94 per barrel, at intraday highs. Now read more
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