Stocks rose early Thursday, boosted by bullish jobless claims data, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 hitting record highs ahead of New Year’s Eve.
The Dow Jones industrials rose 0.3%, or about 100 points. The S&P 500 also added 0.3%, and the Nasdaq rallied 0.5% in the stock market today. The S&P 500 climbed to a new high at 4808 and the Dow’s new high is 36,679.
Small caps tracked by the Russell 2000 outperformed, up 0.8%. Volume was mixed, higher on the NYSE and lower on the Nasdaq, vs. the same time Wednesday.
Among exchange traded funds on Thursday, Innovator IBD 50 (FFTY) climbed 0.2%, after hitting resistance Tuesday at its 200-day moving average. The iShares Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) and Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) each slipped about 0.1% Thursday.
First-time unemployment claims fell to 198,000 during the week ended Dec. 25, the Labor Department said early Thursday. That was down from the prior week’s 205,000 and below Econoday’s forecast for 205,000 initial claims.
The U.S. economy has been struggling to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, which triggered nationwide lockdowns more than a year and a half ago. A resurgence in cases fueled by the more contagious delta variant had been slowing as vaccinations rise.
U.S. Stock Market Today Overview
Last Update: 10:24 AM ET 12/30/2021
But the new omicron coronavirus variant with a large number of mutations is raising concerns. Though much is still unknown about omicron, currently available vaccinations and boosters may offer some protection against the highly transmissible virus.
Globally, Covid-19 cases have topped 285 million, with over 5 million deaths, according to Worldometer. In the U.S., cases are approaching 55 million with more than 844,000 deaths.
Growth Stocks To Watch
Chip designer Alpha & Omega remains well extended past a 43.10 buy point of a cup base cleared last month, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. On Wednesday, shares surged nearly 6% in heavy volume to a new closing high.
Tesla is on track for a third straight decline. The stock continues to work on a double-bottom base with a 1,202.05 buy point. It’s about 11% away from the entry but may soon complete a handle, which could offer a slightly lower buy point of 1,119.10.
Early Thursday, the electric-vehicle maker issued a recall of 356,309 vehicles. A rearview camera cable harness is at risk of damage from opening and closing the trunk lid, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.
IBD 50 winners included rare earth miner MP Materials (MP), which rose nearly 4%. Shares are extended from a 40.78 cup-base entry. They reached the 20% profit-taking goal on Dec. 9 and 10, before falling back to the buy point.
Zim Integrated Shipping Services (ZIM) gained 2% in heavy trade. The stock climbed past a 57.07 buy point of a cup with handle, despite a sell signal that followed the breakout.
Dow Jones Movers
Dow Inc. rose 1% as it aims to extend its win streak to seven days. The stock reclaimed its 50-day line on Wednesday but is still more than 19% off its 52-week high.
Disney is close to retaking its 50-day line as it climbs back from a 52-week low. Shares remain about 23% below their 52-week high. A slowdown in Disney+ subscriber growth has hurt the media and entertainment giant. For its latest quarter, Disney missed earnings and sales views. But analysts expect earnings to jump 80% in fiscal 2022 as sales climb 24%.
Procter & Gamble (PG), down 0.9%, was the biggest Dow Jones loser. That could halt its five-session advance after the stock marked a new high on Wednesday.
Follow Nancy Gondo on Twitter at @IBD_NGondo
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