Consumer companies rallied amid hopes for a moderation in mortgage rates.

The yield on the 30-year Treasury, a benchmark for some mortgage rates, fell by the largest increment since March as investors grew confident that the Federal Reserve's rate-hike cycle had concluded.

Bob Goldberg is stepping down as chief executive officer of trade group the National Association of Realtors, two days after a federal jury reached a verdict that the Realtors association had conspired with brokerages to inflate commission fees. After an initial selloff in response to the surprise ruling about the unpopular fees, some realtor-linked shares rebounded Thursday. Shares of Redfin rose. Re/Max, a real-estate brokerage chain, continued its retreat.

The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose by 5,000 to a seven-week high of 217,000, suggesting some softening in a sturdy U.S. labor market, another development that could keep mortgage rates in check.

Peloton Interactive shares fell sharply after the maker of connected exercise equipment gave a downbeat forecast for the holiday period.

Six Flags and Cedar Fair are joining forces in a roughly $2 billion all-stock deal to form a powerhouse in the regional theme-park industry.

Restaurateur companies were mixed in the wake of earnings. Shake Shack fell after the burger chain posted earnings short of some analysts' expectations. Papa John's International shares fell after the pizza chain's earnings lagged some investors' expectations.

Starbucks shares shot up after the coffee chain posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings ahead of Wall Street targets.

Write to Rob Curran at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-02-23 1811ET