The Nasdaq Composite Index closed on Wall Street at a record high, while oil prices stabilized after a sudden increase in US crude stocks.
US stocks were mixed at the end of Thursday’s session, under pressure from the weak labor market recovery, despite hopes of additional stimulus to the Biden administration.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite indexes closed at record highs in Thursday’s session, supported by optimism about more relief from the repercussions of the pandemic under the Biden administration to support the economy after data showing a weak labor market recovery.
The number of Americans filing for new applications for unemployment benefits fell to 900,000 last week, but remains high amid the pandemic sweeping the country, raising the risk of job losses for the second month in a row in January.
But other data showed strength in the housing and manufacturing sectors, reducing the shock to the economy.
“We started the year and were greeted by the Biden administration with very strong momentum … due to greater incentive checks and more spending in general,” said Muhannad Al-Amma, managing director at Beam Capital Management in New York.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12.37 points, or 0.04%, to 31,176.01 points.
While the Standard & Poor’s Index increased 1.23 points, or 0.03%, to record 3,853.08 points.
The Nasdaq index advanced 73.67 points, or 0.55%, to 13,530.90 points.
The Nasdaq index was supported by a jump in the shares of giant companies such as Alphabet, Apple and Amazon.com, before announcing their results in the coming weeks.
Oil prices stabilized, at the close of trading Thursday, after hopes of a US stimulus of losses decreased due to mounting concerns about fuel demand in light of the pandemic.
Data for the sector showed a sudden increase in US crude inventories, with renewed concerns about fuel demand in light of the pandemic, while prices received support from hopes about US stimulus.
Brent crude futures rose two years, to settle at $ 56.10 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 18 cents to close at $ 53.13 a barrel.
The benchmark rose over the past two days in anticipation of massive spending for relief from the repercussions of Covid-19 under the new US President Joe Biden.
Late on Wednesday, industry data showed that US inventories of crude oil rose by 2.6 million barrels last week, while analysts expected a decline of 1.2 million barrels.
Official inventory data are due on Friday, two days late due to the Martin Luther King Day holiday and Biden’s inauguration.
Phil Flynn, chief analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, said, “We are waiting for the stocks report … the market is waiting to see what the stocks will be tomorrow and the stimulus expected.”
In turn, Ravindra Rao, Vice President Commodities at Cuttack Securities, said, “Crude is marginally lower today due to a sudden increase in US oil inventories … But on the other hand, crude is also supported by a weaker dollar and the possibility of a greater US stimulus injection.”
He added, “US crude stocks have been declining over the past five weeks, and this is one of the main factors that keep prices at high levels.”
He continued: “If the Energy Information Administration confirms an increase in crude stocks, we may witness a further correction in prices.”