Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks rally, S&P 500 may snap 5-day losing streak with labor market weaker ahead of Fed meeting

by | Dec 8, 2022 | Stock Market

U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday as the S&P 500 attempted to end a five-day losing streak, after weekly data showed continuing jobless-benefit claims rose to the highest levels since February, suggesting economic growth may be slowing and inflation moderating ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting. How are stocks trading
The S&P 500
advanced 30 points, or 0.8%, to 3,964.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
is up 203 points, or 0.6%, to 33,803.

The Nasdaq Composite
gained 130 points, or 1.2%, to 11,089.

The S&P 500 declined 7 points, or 0.19%, to 3934, on Wednesday, cementing a five-day losing streak — its longest since Oct. 12.

What’s driving markets Investors were encouraged by weekly U.S. jobs data Thursday showing the number of continuing jobless-benefit claims rose to the highest level since February, which was interpreted as reducing some of the pressure on the Federal Reserve to continue to raise interest rates, said Richard Farr, chief market strategist at Merion Capital Group. “The small increase in unemployment claims may be viewed by some as a reason to reduce recession odds,” Farr said. The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits in early December rose slightly to 230,000, which was exactly in line with the Dow Jones estimate. The weekly number pointed to a slow but steady increase in layoffs as the U.S. economy weakens. Meanwhile, the number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, rose by 62,000 to 1.67 million. That’s the highest reading since February. See: U.S. jobless claims climb to 230,000 in sign labor market may be slowly cooling off Some economists suggest that it is too early to interpret higher claims as a signal of a loosening labor market as seasonal issues make it difficult to make this assessment until the job market is beyond the holiday period. “Weak hiring during the holidays and weak incentives for workers to begin a new job around the holidays help push continuing claims higher from Thanksgiving through to New Year’s,” wrote Isfar Munir, U.S. economist at Citi, in a Thursday note. “While continuing claims have been rising for a few weeks now, the usual …

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