Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Thursday as investors looked to corporate earnings and signs of progress on a pandemic- relief package after data suggested the labor market was stabilizing.
The Labor Department’s report showed 779,000 Americans filed new applications for unemployment benefits last week, lower than 812,000 in the prior week, as authorities started to loosen pandemic-related restrictions on businesses. According Reuters, a report on Wednesday showed U.S. private payrolls rebounded more than expected in January. The government’s closely watched and comprehensive monthly employment report is due on Friday.
“You’re seeing a little bit of sort of calmness or consolidation after a big run-up a couple of days ago,” said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth Management in New York. “The market is digesting earnings news and more importantly the focus is on what type of agreement can come out of Washington related to stimulus.” Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors advanced in early trading with financial and technology gaining the most.
All the three major indexes have bounced back sharply this week as investors monitored talks over the next round of fiscal stimulus and as a recent buying frenzy driven by social media appeared to stall following a bout of market volatility last week.