Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Stock futures changed little in night trading Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed the 34,000 line for the first time.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 10 points. S&P 500 futures traded near the flatline and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.2%.
During regular trading hours, the blue-chip Dow rose 300 points, surpassing the 34,000 milestone amid economic data. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both gained more than 1% on Thursday.
“The Dow’s push of 34,000 is a signal that investors’ appetites for future growth prospects are shifting to more value-driven names,” said Peter Essele, director of portfolio management at Commonwealth Financial Network. “Demand for industrial products and cyclical areas should continue as vaccines catch on and profits may turn out to be higher than originally expected.”
Investor sentiment was bolstered on Thursday by economic data pointing to a rebound in consumer spending and the labor market.
Retail sales rose 9.8% in March as additional stimulus fueled consumer spending, beating the Dow Jones estimate of 6.1%.
Meanwhile, US unemployment claims fell to their lowest level since March 2020. The Department of Labor reported 576,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended April 10. The economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 710,000.
“Retail sales, like any other data point last month, are the exact opposite of the prior-year period,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner, Harris Financial Group. “The data was terribly off-chart, now the data is great off-chart. It matters what happens from here.”
The first quarter earnings season started on a high level. The major banks reported results that exceeded expectations. Morgan Stanley will publish its earnings before the bell on Friday.
Wall Street is ready to wrap up another week of winners. The S&P 500 is up 1% this week, making it the fourth positive week in a row. The Dow is up 0.7% while the Nasdaq is up 1% through Thursday.
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