- US stocks rise Thursday before investors head out for the Christmas holiday break.
- A large batch of economic data arrived, included weekly jobless claims holding steady at 205,000.
- The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge was ahead of expectations.
US stocks rose Thursday, reaching for a third consecutive day of gains as investors headed into the Christmas break, with weekly jobless claims holding steady in the face of the spread of the Omicron variant although inflation remains at elevated levels.
The major equity indexes remained on higher ground following the release of a large batch of economic data in the final trading session before the Christmas holiday. From the Omicron front, Novavax shares rose after the company said its COVID-19 vaccine can protect against the new variant.
Among the economic data, orders for durable goods climbed 2.5%, ahead of expectations of a 1.8% increase, and jobless claims were largely unchanged from last week at 205,000.
The “trend in claims is very low and still falling because rising demand is easing the pressure on businesses. Moreover, firms are reluctant to let staff go in such a tight labor market unless they have no other choice,” wrote Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a note, adding that claims could hit new lows by the end of January.
Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday:
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation rose by more than expected. The core PCE price index rose 0.5% month-over-month in November and increased to 5.7% over the past 12 months. The figures were higher than expectations of a monthly rise of 0.4% rate of 4.5% over the 12-month period.
Around the markets, Elon Musk sold more Tesla shares for $15.4 billion in total, saying there are still a few more shares to go.
Chamath Palihapitiya’s four blockbuster SPAC mergers have tumbled 32% this year as investors ditch flashy growth stocks
Bitcoin fell 0.7%, at $48,756.87.