Nasdaq Showing Strong Move Back To The Upside, Dow Posting Modest Gain

Stocks have moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday, rebounding following the downturn seen over the course of the previous session. The major averages have all moved to the upside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq leading the advance.

Currently, the Nasdaq is just off its highs of the session, up 155.03 points or 1.1 percent at 14,301.75. The S&P 500 is also up 30.10 points or 0.7 percent at 4,579.44, while the narrower Dow is posting a more modest gain, up 26.43 points or 0.1 percent at 36,080.86.

The strength on Wall Street may partly reflect ongoing optimism about the outlook for interest rates ahead of the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

Economists currently expect employment to increase by 180,000 jobs in November after rising by 150,000 jobs in October, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.9 percent.

The jobs report could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting next week.

While the Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged, traders will be looking to the jobs data to provide further evidence the central bank could cut rates as soon as March 2024.

A day ahead of the release of the monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report showing a slight uptick in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 2nd.

The report said initial jobless claims ticked up to 220,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 219,000.

Economist had expected jobless claims to rise to 222,000 from the 218,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Sector News

Airline stocks are extending the upward move seen in the previous session, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index soaring by 2.5 percent to its best intraday level in almost four months.

Significant strength is also visible among semiconductor stocks, as reflected by the 1.7 percent gain being posted by the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index.

Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is moving sharply higher after Meta (META), Microsoft (MSFT) and OpenAI said they will use the company’s newest AI chip, the Instinct MI300X.

Networking, banking and computer hardware stocks are also seeing notable strength, while pharmaceutical stocks have moved to the downside.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index tumbled by 1.8 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slid by 0.7 percent.

The major European markets have shown more modest moves to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index has edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both down by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after moving sharply higher over the two previous sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.0 basis points at 4.151 percent.

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