Dow on pace for record finish above 34,000 mark as retail sales soar, jobless claims hit pandemic low

The S&P 500 and Dow were well on their way to close at record levels on Thursday after economic reports continued to confirm a healthy rebound from the pandemic, a new low for the COVID period.

Investors also analyze the quarterly results of companies, including those of Bank of America and BlackRock.

How are stock benchmarks traded?
  • The Dow Jones industrial average
    DJIA, + 0.81%
    gained 279 points, or 0.8%, to hit 34,010 after hitting an intraday record of 34,035.48.

  • The S&P 500 Index
    SPX, + 0.97%
    41 points added to hit 4,166, up 1% for an intraday record of 4,169.58.

  • The Nasdaq Composite Index
    COMP, + 1.10%
    rose 168 points, or 1.2%, to 14,026.

On WednesdayThe Dow closed 53.62 points, or 0.2%, to 33,730.89, the S&P 500 finished 16.93 points, or 0.4%, lower at 4,124.66, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 138.26 points, or 1% and closed at 13,857.84, down 1.7% from February. 12 record high.

What is driving the market?

A big day for earnings reports and economic data started bullish Thursday and was helped by a decline in long-term bond yields.

U.S. retail sales rose nearly 10% in March thanks to the $ 1,400 consumer stimulus check paid by the federal government. Revenue rose 9.8% last month. The government said Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 6.1% increase.

In addition to market optimism, weekly unemployment benefits fell to lows in the pandemic. US Unemployment claims fell by 193,000 an unusually sharp drop in the week of April 10th, likely reflecting both an improving economy and ongoing problems processing unemployment benefits. The traditionally via the states submitted applications for unemployment benefits decreased from 769,000 in the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 576,000.

“The outstanding jobless claims and retail sales on the charts are positive and send a strong signal that the economy is on the way to recovery,” wrote Mike Loewengart, managing director of E-Trade Financial.

“We haven’t necessarily seen the market move with strong economic blows or failures, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. And with the earnings season starting solidly, the argument of sustained upward movement shouldn’t be ignored, ”he said.

U.S. industrial production also rose 1.4% in March, after a 2.6% decline in the previous month caused by severe winter weather. said the Federal Reserve Thursday.

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Investors have also considered a first quarter report from Bank of America Corp.
BAC, -2.98%
after reporting profit that more than doubled and exceeded expectationsrelying on strong growth in capital markets and lower borrowing costs. The bank also announced a $ 25 billion share buyback program.

Quarterly results from PepsiCo
PEP, -0.05%,
Citigroup
C: -0.73%,
BlackRock
BLK, + 1.97%
and Delta Air Lines
DAL, -2.77%,
were also digested a day after the Goldman Sachs Group
GS, + 1.23%
and JPMorgan Chase
JPM + 0.40%
delivered solid results.

Earnings reports and economic data aside, some analysts said investors may be more confident that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low and take liquidity measures despite rising inflation to further boost the COVID-hit economy.

Doubts about the Fed’s engagement had driven benchmark bond yields higher this year, but recently yields have stabilized with the 10-year Treasury note
BX: TMUBMUSD10Y

on Thursday 1.54%.

“While stocks are very exciting, traders are also watching the bond markets. US Treasuries show that investors are increasingly convinced of the Federal Reserve’s message that spikes in inflation are temporary and will not result in policy tightening anytime soon, ”FXTM chief market strategist Hussein Sayed wrote in a note.

In a moderated discussion sponsored by the Economic Club of Washington, Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell said the central bank would likely cut asset purchases “well before we think about a rate hike,” as for the 2013-14 playbook. “We didn’t vote on that order, but that’s the point of the guide, that it would work that way,” Powell said.

In the public health sector, a study by Oxford University found that the number of people who received blood clots after being vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine was roughly the same as those who received them Pfizer PFE and Modern MRNA Vaccines as well as for the AstraZeneca AZN Vaccine made with the help of the university. The study comes after the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested an immediate stop from Johnson & Johnson‘s
JNJ, + 0.37%
One shot COVID vaccine.

In other US economic data the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing Index jumped from 50.5 in the previous month to 50.2 in April, marking the highest level in almost 50 years. According to a survey by the Wall Street Journal of economists, after the first reading for March 51.8, economists expected a value of 42.

Separately, the Empire State Index of the New York Federal Reserve rose to 17.3 in April from 17.4 in March, the New York Fed said – the highest since October 2017.

Which companies are in focus?
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