Dow climbs above 34,000 as retail sales jump, unemployment claims fall

A sign for Wall Street hangs outside at the New York Stock Exchange on April 20. Stocks were down Friday morning ahead of President Donald Trump's news conference on China. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

April 15 (UPI) — U.S. markets climbed to record highs on Thursday amid positive retail and unemployment data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 305.1 points, or 0.9%, to 34,035 — its first time above 34,000. The S&P 500 increased 1.11% to an intraday high and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.31%.

“Although 34,000 by itself is just another number, this is a monumental feat when you think back to where we were last year at this time,” Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial said, according to CNBC. “The speed and resiliency of this economic recovery is unlike anything we’ve ever seen and it helps to justify stocks at all-time highs.”

The 10-year treasury yield fell to 1.57%, granting a boost to tech stocks.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet jumped 1.93%, Apple grew 1.87%, Netflix increased 1.7%, Facebook climbed 1.65%, Microsoft gained 1.53% and Amazon closed the day up 1.38%.

Markets also responded positively to a Commerce Department report stating that retail sales were up 9.8% and Labor Department data showing that 576,000 U.S. workers filed new unemployment claims last week, the lowest tally since March 2020.

Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist for Capital Economics, told Yahoo Finance that food and drink services were down just 5.1% and clothing sales were higher than February 2020, suggesting a “rapid return to normalcy” driven by loosening restrictions and the vaccine rollout.

“Spending will almost certainly drop back in April as some of the stimulus boost wears off, but with the vaccination rollout proceeding at a rapid pace and households finances in strong shape, we expect overall consumption growth to continue rebounding rapidly in the second quarter too he said.

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