S&P and Nasdaq hit record highs as jobless claims hit pandemic-era low

U.S. stock indexes hit record highs on Thursday as weekly jobless claims fell to a pandemic-era low ahead of the August jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 135 points, or 0.38%, while the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.39% and 0.42% respectively. Early gains took the S&P and Nasdaq to all-time highs for the day.

Teleprinter Security Last Switch Switch %
Me: DJI MEDIUM DOW JONES 35376.16 +63.63 + 0.18%
SP500 S&P 500 4536.32 +12.23 + 0.27%
I: COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15352.560122 +43.18 + 0.28%

Initial jobless claims for the week ended August 28 fell to 340,000, the lowest since March 2020. Continuing claims also hit their lowest level since before the coronavirus outbreak. Improved claims data paves the way for Friday’s non-farm payroll report, which is expected to show 720,000 jobs added in August as the unemployment rate fell to 5.2%.

In equities, mega-cap tech companies Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc. have sought to extend the records reached on Wednesday. Apple Inc. was also flirting with its own record.

Teleprinter Security Last Switch Switch %
FB FACEBOOK, INC. 377.42 -4.63 -1.21%
GOOGL ALPHABET, INC. 2,876.95 -27.36 -0.94%
AAPL APPLE INC. 153.71 +1.20 + 0.79%

In earnings, shares of Chewy Inc. were down sharply after the online pet retailer reported sales for its final quarter and its forecast for the current quarter missed Wall Street estimates. The company expects its growth rate to moderate as the economy normalizes amid the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Teleprinter Security Last Switch Switch %
CHWY CHEWY INC. 80.92 -6.64 -7.58%
SWBI SMITH & WESSON BRANDS 23.04 -1.84 -7.40%

Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. posted record quarterly sales that were below analysts’ expectations. The reduction in costs enabled the firearms manufacturer to achieve a record gross margin.

Broadcom Inc., Docusign Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. are among the companies expected to report after the closing bell.

Teleprinter Security Last Switch Switch %
BRCM n / A n / A n / A n / A
DOCU DOCUSIGN, INC. 294.55 -2.67 -0.90%
HPE HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY CO. 15.35 -0.07 -0.43%

Elsewhere, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. is facing an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration after the flight that carried Richard Branson, the company’s founding billionaire, into space allegedly deviated from its path.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that the redesigned roadster is unlikely to be available until 2023, three years later than originally planned.

Teleprinter Security Last Switch Switch %
SPCE HOLDINGS VIRGIN GALACTIC INC. 27.31 +0.52 +1.94%
TSLA TESLA, INC. 736.61 +2.52 + 0.34%

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed $ 1.67 to $ 70.30 per barrel and gold slipped $ 2 to $ 1,814 per ounce.

Foreign trade was turbulent.

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In Europe, the UK FTSE 100, French CAC 40 and German DAX 30 were all less than 0.1% of their respective landlines.

Asian stock markets rallied across the board, with China’s Shanghai Composite rising 0.84%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 0.33% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index 0.24%.

About Virginia Ahn

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