How major USA stock indexes fared Thursday


Buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay surged 10 per cent after a strong market debut by a United States rival, nearly single-handedly helping the tech sub-index end 2.6 per cent higher.

"Equities are up slightly as traders are hopeful Mr Biden will set out plans for a stimulus package", CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden wrote Thursday. Finally, the three previous impeachment episodes of modern times had relatively little impact upon markets, which were influenced far more strongly by the prevailing economic backdrop and the outlook for corporate earnings and dividends.

USA stock futures rose slightly Thursday as investors awaited details of the incoming Biden administration's plans for a fresh coronavirus relief package.

"To some extent, most of this optimism had been priced in, but the huge figures had also invited some contemplation as to whether the necessary bipartisan support will materialize for this huge sum", Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary. Most other major benchmarks rose, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and Japan's Nikkei 225 both up 0.9%. Global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto climbed 1.7 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively.

The S&P 500 fell 14.30 points, or 0.4%, to 3,795.54.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 68.95 points, or 0.2%, to 30991.52. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index declined 16.31 points, or 0.12%, to 13,112.64.

Bitcoin held gains after a slide of almost $12,000 from last week's record high of $42,000.

The Department of Labor's Weekly Unemployment Report showed that the number of Americans filing first-time unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, highlighting the impact of a resurgence in COVID-19 infections. That's up sharply from the prior week's tally of 784,000, and much worse than economists expected. But several analysts said they expect investors to continue to focus on hopes for a brighter future as temperatures warm and more people get vaccines.

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They are as thin as 16 millimeters and feature new Gen 4 PCIE architecture for connecting to the latest discrete graphics. Intel's new line of hybrid chips will surely fill in at least some of the gap between their last-gen CPUs and Apple's M1.

"There is a tug-of-war between the prospects for further fiscal stimulus, due to democratic control by the Senate, and a job market that still has a long way to go before it heals", said Emily Roland, co- Chief Investment Strategist at John Hancock Investment Management.

Italy is often seen as the weakest link among major economies in the eurozone, and political drama has previously sparked sharp selloffs in the country's government debt.

The domestically-focused small-cap Russell 2000, as well as the Dow Jones Transports index, considered a barometer of economic health, both scaled all-time highs.

Airlines, oil producers and cruise-ship operators also clawed back more of their steep losses from a year ago, when sales for many of them suddenly vanished because of the pandemic.

Prices for the 10-Year Treasury were unchanged, keeping yields at Wednesday's 1.10%.

WTI futures for February delivery, the USA benchmark, fell 87 cents from yesterday's NY close to trade at $52.70 per barrel while Brent contracts for March slumped $1.02 to $55.40 per barrel. It climbed 66 cents t $53.57 on Thursday.

Miners rose 0.8 per cent as fears of tight supply amid fresh virus curbs in China sent iron ore futures higher.

The dollar slipped to 103.79 Japanese yen from 103.82 yen on Thursday.