Shares of retailers and other consumer companies rose, as traders bet the outlook for consumer spending was intact, despite mixed economic data.
There was an unexpected jump in new weekly unemployment filings, but economists said it may have been a seasonal issue. New jobless claims rose by 51,000 to 419,000 for the week ended July 17. "Many are attributing the soft reading to adjustments in the auto industry and [to] some states [which] have returned to stricter restrictions," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign-exchange brokerage OANDA Group, in a note to clients.
"One bad jobless claims report does not suggest the downward trend is over, but it will put some added pressure over next week's release."
In one sign that more workers furloughed by the pandemic are returning to the labor force, continuing payments made through all unemployment benefit programs fell by 1.3 million in the week ended July 3, to 12.6 million.
Used-home sales rose 1.4% in June from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million, the National Association of Realtors said. The median home price rose to a new high of $363,000 during the month, 24% above the same month a year earlier. The supply of entry-level housing, which Freddie Mac defines as homes up to 1,400 square feet, is near a five-decade low, even as builders steadily increase the size of new construction, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires