The main indexes on Wall Street closed higher on Thursday, led by growth stocks in light trading. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits in the US went up last week, according to the Labor Department. US unemployment data showed that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes to fight inflation might be starting to hurt the strength of the labor market.
All 11 of the S&P 500 sector indexes went up, but the biggest winners were communication services and technology. Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Amazon.com Inc. all saw their stock prices finally go up after going down in the last few trading days. Investors rushed to buy downed tech stocks, putting the market on track to stop losing for the first time in two days.
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The S&P 500 went up 1.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went up 1.2%, which is 378 points, and the Nasdaq Composite went up 2.5%. Meta Platforms, which is down about 64% so far this year, went up more than 4%, and then Apple went up more than 3%. Apple’s recent drop to its lowest level in 18 months made dip buyers jump in.
Dollar falls back as risk sentiment calms down
The US dollar went down, and the drop was made worse by the fact that the market was not very busy. Throughout the day, sentiment was the main driver, and different market reactions were caused by news about China. The financial markets were on high alert on Wednesday after Italy said that about half of the people on two flights that landed in Milan on Wednesday tested positive for Covid. Several western countries rushed to put restrictions on Chinese travelers out of fear that a new strain would spread.
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The EUR/USD reached a high of 1.0689 and held on to its gains before the Asian market opened. GBP/USD stays around 1.2060, with the pound’s gains being limited by strikes in the UK. There are 1,000 people who are part of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) on strike until the end of the year. The currencies tied to commodities did better than their American rival. AUD/USD is trading around 0.6780, while USD/CAD has dropped to 1.3540.
Commodities also enjoy a bit of relief from the selling pressure
At the start of the day, the price of crude oil went down, but it made up most of what it lost by the closing bell. WTI is worth about $78.30 per barrel.
Brent fell $0.53 to settle at $83.46 a barrel on London’s Intercontinental Exchange.
The Biden Administration’s plans to buy crude oil at the beginning of next year to fill up the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are likely to boost demand.
Spot gold went up 0.58% and ended the day at about $1,814.76 per troy ounce. Golds small brother – silver sounded the bell with green numbers at $24.098 enjoying a 1% rise.