U.S. stocks rose Thursday on upbeat corporate earnings and signs of continued improvement in the labor market.
After fluctuating between gains and losses, the S&P 500 advanced to finish the day up 0.8%. Technology stocks, which had been beaten down this week, rebounded, helping to steer the broad benchmark higher. Consumer staple stocks acted as the market leader after investors pushed shares of Kellogg up following stronger-than-expected earnings.
Also helping the stock market was news that jobless claims slipped below 500,000 last week for the first time during the Covid-19 pandemic, suggesting the economic recovery continues. The economy’s rejuvenation since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a key driver behind the stock market’s ascent in recent months, with most of the benefits going into companies that are more closely tied to the U.S. economy.
“We should see cash flows and company cash flows really improve, especially with the reopenings happening,” said Mary Nicola, a fund manager at PineBridge Investments. Although valuations are high, stocks remain attractive compared with low-yielding bonds, she added.
Investors will get a clearer signs of the jobs front on Friday after the Labor Department releases its monthly hiring report.
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