Wall Street gains on good unemployment data

People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, March 19, 2021. — Reuters pic
People are seen on Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, March 19, 2021. — Reuters pic

NEW YORK, Oct 14 — US stock indices began today’s session decisively higher after the government reported a big drop in new claims for jobless benefits.

New applications for US unemployment benefits dipped below 300,000 last week for the first time since Covid-19 sent them skyrocketing into the millions early last year, the Labor Department said.

The data cheered investors fretting over the impact of the Delta variant.

That outweighed separate government report showing annual US wholesale prices jumping 8.6 per cent last month, the biggest increase in over a decade as inflation remains high across the country.

Also aiding sentiment was Wednesday’s release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting last month indicating the central bank is ready to start pulling back on stimulus, perhaps as soon as November.

After recent sessions saw rocky trading amid inflation and Delta fears, “stock market participants for their part are seeing a rebound opportunity,” Patrick J O’Hare of Briefing.com wrote.

About 45 minutes into trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 1.2 per cent to 34,777.49.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 1.3 per cent to 4,419.34, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.4 per cent to 14,779.64.

Positive earnings reports also fueled market gains, with Wells Fargo, Bank of American and Citigroup all reporting profits.

Among individual companies, Boeing was down 1.4 per cent after announcing it had uncovered another defect on its 787 Dreamliner jet that will require it to rework undelivered planes. — AFP