Aug. 5 (UPI) — The S&P 500 hit a new record as markets climbed on Thursday amid positive jobs data and more second-quarter earnings reports.
The broad index rose 0.6% to finish at a new all-time high while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 271.58 points, or 0.78%, and the Nasdaq Composite also closed the day up 0.78%.
Markets responded to a report by the Labor Department that 385,000 new jobless claims were filed last week, in line with economists’ expectations as the number of workers in the United States filing for ongoing unemployment benefits has fallen below 3 million.
The Dow and S&P fell, while the Nasdaq turned in slight gains on Wednesday after a report by ADP and Moody’s Analytics, which found that the U.S. economy added just 330,000 private-sector jobs in July.
Thursday’s job data comes before a key July jobs report which is expected to be a key point for the Federal Reserve as it weighs whether it should tighten monetary policy.
“That’s going to be the big event for the week as it has a lot of direct implications for what the Fed will do,” Angelo Kourkafas, an investment strategist at Edward Jones, told CNBC. “Tomorrow’s reading and the September one are critical for policymakers to decide on tapering and the timing of that and the pace of that.”
Uber stock rose 3.01% after its earnings beat expectations but reported a wider earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization than expected. Shares of online marketplace Etsy sank 9.74% after its current-quarter sales forecast was below estimates. Roku stock fell 4.01% after posting its quarterly earnings.
Virgin Galactic stock rose 2.44% after its second-quarter revenue exceeded expectations in its first earnings report since founder Richard Branson’s trip to space last month.
The company also reopened ticket sales to travel on one of its spacecraft while increasing the price from $250,000 per seat to $450,000.
So far 88% of S&P 500 companies have beaten Wall Street’s earnings per share estimates for their second-quarter earnings.
“The near-term power behind the market is insanely strong earnings. There’s very little sign that they’re not going to continue to be strong through the end of the year and into next year,” Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equity strategist for Credit Suisse, told Yahoo Finance. “But you are starting to see maybe cracks on the edge, if you will, that are making this a little more difficult.”