- The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped less than expected last week.
- The move retraces some ground lost Wednesday after ADP data showed private hiring slowing.
- Oil prices climbed while gold slipped.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
US stocks trade higher on Thursday as a fall in weekly jobless claims eased labor-market concerns.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped less than expected last week, according to the Labor Department, capping off a volatile month that signaled a slowing of the labor market's rebound.
Jobless claims dipped to an unadjusted 385,000, compared to a median estimate of 383,000 claims from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The reading also keeps claims well above the pandemic-era low set earlier in July.
While jobless claims have been erratic over the last few months, the drop in data suggests more people are taking jobs, according to Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade Financial. The historic trade deficit that surged to a record high in June is also a testament to the demand seen from consumers.
"It's encouraging to see robust demand in the face of delta fears weighing on investors," he said in a note.
Here's where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:
- S&P 500: 4,417.31, up 0.33%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 34,964.76, up 0.5% (172.67 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 14,813.84, up 0.24%
US stocks closed mixed Wednesday after Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said conditions for the central bank to raise interest rates could be met by the end of 2022.
Clarida's statement was more hawkish than the central bank's "dot plot" forecast, which shows most policymakers are looking for two rate hikes by the end of 2023.
The benchmark 10-year bond yield gained to reach 1.19%, up from its close of 1.84%.
Meanwhile, shares of Robinhood tumbled 15% after major shareholders filed to sell 98 million shares, taking the wind out of a massive two-day rally less than a week since the popular trading app made its Nasdaq debut.
In cryptocurrencies, a hotly anticipated upgrade is coming to the ethereum network on Thursday known as Ethereum Improvement Protocol 1559, or EIP-1559. The change has excited some investors, as it will start to destroy or "burn" ether coins.
Gold slipped by 0.11%, to 1,809.78 per ounce.