Stocks jump as NATO, US stay tough on Russia

Jobless claims fell to 187,000 while durable goods sank 2.2%

U.S. stocks rose as oil prices eased Thursday. Investors were pleased after NATO and President Biden promised to remain vigilant against Russia while supporting battered Ukraine. 

RUSSIA INVADES UKRAINE: LIVE UPDATES

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 348 points or 1.1%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.5% and 1.9%, respectively. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 30897.51 -70.31 -0.23%
SP500 S&P 500 3823.27 -8.12 -0.21%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11314.705838 -7.53 -0.07%

Bond yields remain elevated with the yield on the 10-year Treasury at 2.34%. 

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U.S. crude held around $112 per barrel, while Brent, the global benchmark, hovered above $119 per barrel. Gold continued its climb to $1,961 per ounce. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 74.78 -6.89 -8.44%
BNO UNITED STS BRENT OIL FD LP UNIT 30.82 -2.52 -7.56%
GLD SPDR GOLD SHARES TRUST - EUR ACC 164.73 -3.59 -2.13%
Joe Biden NATO

A delegation welcomes President Joe Biden, who arrives in Brussels, Belgium, to attend a NATO summit to discuss the response to Russia's attack on Ukraine, March 23, 2022. (Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters Photos)

In stocks, Uber shares jumped after announcing a partnership with Curb, the taxi app for North America. The joint venture will kick off in New York City. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UBER UBER TECHNOLOGIES INC. 21.54 -0.98 -4.37%

"We are excited to kickstart our partnership with Curb and allow Uber users to have immediate access to Curb’s taxi-hailing network, which will add tens of thousands of vehicles to the Uber platform in New York City and beyond," Guy Peterson, Uber's director of business development, said in the announcement. "We’re looking forward to expanding together as we launch the integration in other key cities across the country."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DRI DARDEN RESTAURANTS INC. 118.51 +4.16 +3.64%

Darden Restaurants, parent of Olive Garden and Red Lobster, gave a muted outlook after reporting weaker-than-expected quarterly results. 

"The omicron variant significantly impacted guest demand, restaurant staffing and operating expenses in January," said CEO Gene Lee in the earnings release. 

Chip stocks remained active. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NVDA NVIDIA CORP. 149.64 +4.41 +3.04%
INTC INTEL CORP. 36.69 +0.35 +0.96%
MU MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC. 56.73 +3.08 +5.74%

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said he is interested in partnering with Intel on their foundries – also known as fabrication plants or "fabs." He made the comments on a call with reporters. 

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, during an interview with FOX Business Wednesday, gave more details on its new Ohio plant.

"We're establishing a silicon heartland and from Rust Belt to high-tech manufacturing in the center of our nation. It's such an exciting project. We hope to break ground on that later this year, and we're getting enormous and enthusiastic support from Ohio, but entire, the entire Midwest," he said.

He, along with Micron's CEO Sanjay Mehrotra, testified before Congress on America's chip crisis.

Elsewhere, Nikola shares jumped on confirmation truck production will begin in Coolidge, Arizona.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NKLA NIKOLA CORP. 5.19 +0.47 +9.96%

And Oshkosh confirmed an order from the U.S. Postal Service valued at $3 billion for 50,000 next-generation vehicles. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
OSK OSHKOSH CORP. 81.18 -0.85 -1.04%

In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin remained around the $43,000 level helped by the lift in stocks. Also, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, in his annual shareholder's letter, said the Russia-Ukraine conflict could boost demand for digital currencies. 

BLACKROCK CEO LARRY FINK ON RUSSIA-UKRAINE AND DIGITAL CURRENCIES

Russia reopened its stock market for restricted and limited trading on Thursday nearly one month after shares plunged and the exchange was shut down following the invasion of Ukraine. It closed with gains of 4.3%.  

Moscow Exchange

Russia reopened its stock market for restricted and limited trading on Thursday, March 24, 2022. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov / Reuters Photos)

In economic data, durable goods, or new orders for manufactured big-ticket items, fell a seasonally adjusted 2.2% month-over-month in February, reversing a larger-than-expected increase of 1.6% the prior month. If you factor out the transportation component, orders also dropped 0.3% compared to January’s 0.7% jump. 

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Also, the Labor Department is out with its tally of new claims for unemployment benefits for last week, which fell to 187,000 from 214,000 the previous week. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, are anticipated to edge down 1.35 million, another 52-year low.

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FOX Business' Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.