Jobs Numbers Propel Dow Higher

U.S. stocks climbed on Thursday as investors cheered stronger-than-expected labour-market data.

The Dow Jones Industrials came off its peaks of the day, but remained positive 141.59 points to 34,464.64.

The S&P 500 added 4.89 points to 4,200.88.

The NASDAQ gave up earlier gains and edged down 1.72 points to 13,736.28.

Shares of Boeing advanced 3.9% on optimism about an economic recovery.

Gains for the overall market were capped however, as investors lightened up on technology shares as they rotated into cyclical stocks. Microsoft, Netflix, Alphabet and Apple all registered losses.

Snowflake shares fell 4% after the data-analytics software company reported widening losses. Nvidia’s stock dipped slightly even after the chip giant’s earnings and sales for the first quarter both beat Wall Street expectations. Its revenue grew 88% compared to last year.

Meme stocks, which have jumped this week amid a resurgence in speculative trading, turned higher again on Thursday. GameStop gained 4.8%. AMC Entertainment erased earlier gains and popped another 35%.

Ford was higher again, with the stock up 7% following an upgrade by RBC. The stock jumped 8% on Wednesday after unveiling its electric vehicle strategy.

Trading remained light, however, leading up to the Memorial Day long weekend.

Initial jobless claims fell to 406,000, hitting a new pandemic low and much less than expected, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected a total of 425,000 Americans to have filed unemployment benefits in the week ended May 22.

On Thursday, Senate Republicans unveiled their $928-billion infrastructure counteroffer to President Joe Biden’s $1.7-trillion proposal.

Republicans again rejected Biden’s call to raise corporate taxes, contending they could cover infrastructure costs with funds already allocated by Congress or with transportation user fees.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen called on congressional leaders to step up spending, saying that inflation-adjusted spending has remained stagnant for 11 years.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department left its initial estimate on first-quarter gross domestic product unchanged at 6.4%.

Prices for 10-Year Treasurys sagged, raising yields to 1.60% from Wednesday’s 1.58%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices recovered 58 cents to $66.79 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices fell $3.70 to $1,897.50 U.S. an ounce.