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Weekly jobless claims rise in line with estimates
Moderna up as FDA authorizes updated COVID boosters
Indexes up: Dow 0.67%, S&P 0.77%, Nasdaq 1.17%
Dec 8 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index gained ground on
Thursday, boosted by technology shares, while a rise in weekly
jobless claims suggested the labor market was slowing down.
Wall Street's main indexes have come under pressure in
recent days, with the benchmark shedding 3.6% in the past
five sessions on expectations of a longer rate-hike cycle and
downbeat views on the economy from some top company executives.
However, investors drew some comfort on Thursday after
the number of Americans filing claims for jobless benefits
increased moderately last week, while unemployment rolls hit a
10-month high toward the end of November.
The report follows data last Friday that showed U.S.
employers hired more workers than expected in November and
increased wages, spurring fears that the Fed might stick to its
aggressive stance as it attempts to tame decades-high inflation.
"Markets are looking like they've got a little window here
for a relief rally before next week's CPI data, since we were
oversold here," said Dennis Dick, a market structure analyst and
trader at Triple D Trading.
"You're just starting to see a few people coming in
buying the dip."
The producer price index and the University of Michigan's
consumer sentiment survey on Friday and November's consumer
price data next week will also be in focus ahead of Fed's policy
decision on Dec. 14.
Investors see a 93% chance that the U.S. central bank will
hike the key benchmark rate by 50 basis points to 4.25-4.50%,
with the rates peaking in May 2023 at 4.92%.
The U.S. central bank has raised its policy rate by 375
basis points this year in the fastest hikes since the 1980s.
This aggressive approach has stoked worries of a recession,
with top executives of major U.S. financial institutions
including JPMorgan, BlackRock and Citi forecasting a likely
economic downturn in 2023.
Adding to the fears, the yield curve between the 2-year
and 10-year Treasury notes has also
widened in the recent days.
At 11:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 223.74 points, or 0.67%, at 33,821.66, the S&P 500
was up 30.32 points, or 0.77%, at 3,964.24, and the Nasdaq
Composite was up 127.83 points, or 1.17%, at 11,086.38.
Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes rose, led by 1.6%
gain in technology stocks.
Energy stocks rose 0.2% as oil prices climbed
following the easing of anti-COVID measures in China and delay
in some tankers carrying Russian oil.
Most mega-cap technology and growth stocks such as Apple
Inc, Nvidia Corp and Amazon.com rose
between 1.3% and 4%.
Moderna Inc soared 4% after the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration authorized COVID-19 shots from the vaccine maker
that target both the original coronavirus and Omicron
sub-variants for use in children as young as six months of age
Rent the Runway Inc jumped 52.6% after the clothing
rental firm raised its 2022 revenue forecast
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.36-to-1
ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a
1.91-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and two new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 60 new highs and 165 new lows.
(Reporting by Shubham Batra, Ankika Biswas, Johann M Cherian
in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Sriraj Kalluvila and