Jobless claims are little changed for the week at 245,000
U.S. stock benchmarks rose modestly on Thursday, buoyed by gains in technology and consumer-discretionary shares, in seasonally light trading volume ahead of the New Year's holiday.
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What are stock benchmarks doing?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 36 points, or 0.1%, to 24,810, led by a rebound in shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL), which has been under pressure for most of the week, and a rise in International Business Machines Corp. (IBM). The S&P 500 index advanced 2 points, or 0.1%, to 2,685. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 11 points, or 0.2%, to 6,951.
The small gains come after all three benchmarks closed slightly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boeing-leads-dow-futures-higher-in-holiday-thinned-session-2017-12-27) in thin trade on Wednesday, with the Dow average ending 0.1% higher, the S&P 500 rising 0.1% and the Nasdaq advancing 3.09 points, or less than 0.1%.
What's driving the markets?
Last week, stocks rallied to records after the Republicans passed the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years as well as a stopgap spending bill to keep the government funded into early 2018. That helped set the S&P on track for a 20% yearly gain, while the Dow and Nasdaq were looking at gains between 25% and 30%.
Which stocks are in focus?
Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp.(CHK) climbed about 2%, as crude-oil prices attempted to tick higher.
Apples shares are rebounding on Thursday as the iPhone maker attempts to trim a decline of nearly 2% so far this week, on the back of worries about sales of its iPhone X and reports and reports of lawsuits against the tech giant.
Tesla Inc.(TSLA) rose less than 0.3%, after losing 1.8% on Wednesday when KeyBanc analysts slashed their fourth-quarter estimates for Model 3 deliveries to about 5,000 from 15,000 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-shares-dip-after-keybanc-slashes-model-3-estimates-2017-12-27).
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-shares-dip-after-keybanc-slashes-model-3-estimates-2017-12-27)What's on deck in economic data?
The purchasing managers index for Chicago showed a rise of 67.6 in December from 63.9 in the previous month, compared with expectations for 62. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
Initial U.S. jobless claims, a tool to measure layoffs, were unchanged (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jobless-claims-stick-to-245000-in-week-before-christmas-2017-12-28)at 245,000 last week. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 239,000.
Meanwhile, the U.S. deficit in goods increased 2.3% in November to $69.7 billion.
What are other markets doing?
Bitcoin prices plunged (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bitcoin-tumbles-almost-10-as-south-korea-moves-to-curb-crypto-trade-2017-12-28), with spot prices erasing more than $1,000 after South Korea announced tougher measures to crack down on cryptocurrencies trade.
The dollar dropped (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-index-drops-to-multiweek-lows-after-us-bond-yields-tumble-2017-12-28) against most other major currencies, with the ICE index down 0.3% at 92.730. The broad-based dollar selloff came after U.S. Treasury yields tumbled on Wednesday.
Metals were mostly higher, with gold prices up 0.4% at $1,296.50 an ounce.
Asian stocks closed mostly higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-stocks-lead-recovery-in-asian-markets-2017-12-27), while European markets wavered around the flat line.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 28, 2017 09:53 ET (14:53 GMT)