The main U.S. stock indexes rose after the latest figures on unemployment came in better than expected, leaving all three of the benchmarks on pace to close at record levels for the first time since Feb. 12.
Initial U.S. claims for unemployment benefits declined by 75,000 to total 712,000 in the latest week, marking the first drop in three weeks. Economists had expected 780,000 claims.
By midday, the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 188 points, or 0.6%. The
was up 0.2% and the
had risen 0.4%.
Asian and European stocks went in different directions, underscoring a gap in the regions’ economic health. The
inched higher in Tokyo, the
added 0.7% and the
rose 0.8% in Seoul. The
Stoxx Europe 600,
meanwhile, slipped 0.3%.
Service-sector purchasing managers index readings were released across the world. While the Caixin China services PMI rose to 57.8 in November from 56.8 in October, the eurozone’s fell to 41.7 from 46.9. Any reading above 50 indicates improving conditions.
In the U.S., optimism is building over a potential fiscal stimulus bill, after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the $908 billion plan put together by a group of centrist Democrats and Republicans could be a basis for negotiation. They have previously held out for a stimulus bill exceeding $2 trillion. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the endorsment of the plan was a step in the right direction.
(ticker: TSLA) shares rose 3.2% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the electric vehicle maker to Buy from Neutral.
(ZS) rose 16.7% after the company posted earnings per share of 14 cents, beating estimates of 6 cents, and revenue of $142 million, beating estimates of $132 million.
(OKTA) rose 8.6% after the company posted EPS of 4 cents, beating estimates of 1 cent, and revenue of $214 million, beating estimates of $202 million.
(PVH) shares rose 2% after the company posted EPS of $1.32, beating expectations of 24 cents, and revenue of $2.1 billion, beating estimates of $2 billion.
(COST) fell 1.6% even though the company reported that November comparable sales rose 13.4% year over year, beating estimates of 13%.
(FIVE) shares rose 4.4% after the company posted EPS of 36 cents, beating expectations of 20 cents, and revenue of $476 million, beating expectations of $446 million.