In the wake of a slew of new economic statistics, U.S. stocks moved higher on Thursday, lifting the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 to new highs.
According to the Labour Department, initial unemployment claims fell marginally last week as the U.S. labour market continues to rebound from last year’s slump. Last week, 375,000 claims were filed, which was in line with expectations. The previous estimate was 385,000 claims; however, Jobless claims reduced it to 387,000.
In July, the prices paid by American manufacturers and other firms for labour, raw materials, and other items increased once again. Producer price inflation was updated a day after the Labour Department reported that consumer prices rose 5.4% year over year in July and 0.5% from the previous month. On the other hand, core inflation climbed by only 0.3% in July, much below the forecasted 0.4% gain.
After Wednesday’s U.S. consumer price index reading indicated the pace looked to be moderating, data on Thursday showed U.S. producer prices registered their highest annual gain in more than a decade last month, heightening inflation fears.
Quick market analysis
The Nasdaq jumped 0.35%, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.29% to 4,461.77, a record high. Both indices were down in the morning on Thursday but rallied in the afternoon. At the close, the Dow Jones industrials had gained less than 0.04%. On U.S. exchanges, volume was 8.31 billion shares, compared to an average of 9.55 billion shares for the previous 20 trading days.
Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Amazon.com (AMZN.O), Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), and Facebook Inc (FB.O), which together constitute for a quarter of the S&P 500’s market cap, led the S&P and Nasdaq.
Intel (INTC), Home Depot (H.D.), and American Express (AXP) were among the Dow Jones’ underperformers on Thursday (AXP). Both tech titans, Apple (AAPL) and Salesforce.com (CRM) topped the blue-chip index with more than 2% apiece gains. Micron stock fell 6.3% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock, predicting a downturn in the memory chip industry.
The value of Disney’s stock increased by roughly 0.7%. After the market closed on Thursday, the theme park and entertainment conglomerate released its quarterly profits. Profit and revenue both exceeded expectations. Even though the firm reported optimistic quarterly sales, Baidu Inc’s U.S. shares dropped 3.2% in earnings-related movements.