How major USA stock indexes fared Wednesday

Daniel Fowler
August 7, 2020

Stocks perked higher on Wall Street Thursday after a report showed the pace of layoffs across the country is slowing, though it remains incredibly high.

The S&P 500 was 0.2% higher in midday trading after erasing an earlier loss of 0.2%.

Stock indexes are hanging close to their records after clawing back most or all of their sell-off from earlier in the year, with the S&P 500 within 3% of its all-time high.

Futures for the S&P 500 11.5 points, or 0.4%, at 3,304.50.

U.S. stocks rose on Thursday with the Nasdaq closing above the 11,000 mark for the first time, bolstered by strong gains in tech-related shares. But caution is still very prevalent across other markets: Treasury yields were falling, while gold was rising as investors sought safety.

Despite the market's gains, slightly more stocks fell in the S&P 500 than rose, with the health care sector the heaviest weight on the index. Investors say such a package is crucial and needs to arrive quickly, with millions of Americans still out of work and $600 in weekly unemployment benefits from the US government having recently expired. Policy makers projected that the United Kingdom economy will take until the end of next year to make up the ground lost during the coronavirus pandemic. Economists warn the picture could be far worse than in June.

The easing in claims was the first after two weeks of increases, and economists called it an encouraging step.

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A weekly $600 in federal unemployment benefits has expired, threatening to crunch the finances of millions of out-of-work Americans.

Investors say it's crucial that the aid comes and quickly. Recent data reports have shown an uptick in the number of workers filing for unemployment after a resurgence of coronavirus counts pushed some states to reimpose restrictions on businesses.

Richardson said the possibility of President Donald Trump using his executive authority to extend coronavirus relief if Congress fails to reach a deal may have helped lift the market Thursday.

Shares in GoDaddy gained 12% after the web hosting and domain-name registration company reported fiscal second-quarter revenue that exceeded Wall Street estimates. The gains have been so strong that it may become the country's first company to be worth $2 trillion. After rising 1.3%, it's at almost $1.9 trillion. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed to 0.54% from 0.51% late Tuesday. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 1.4% to $41.59 per barrel. Brent crude, the global standard, added 74 cents to $45.17 a barrel. France's CAC 40 added 0.3%, and the FTSE 100 in London was up 0.1%.

In Asia, major markets ended the day on a mixed note. Japan's Nikkei 225 slipped 0.4%, but South Korea's Kospi rose 1.3%.

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