Stocks rise following latest economic data

Stocks climbed Thursday as traders returned to work following the Fourth of July holiday with a plate full of economic reports to digest before the week ends.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 181.92 points, or 0.75%, to 24,356.74. The S&P 500 rose 23.39 points to 2,736.61. The Nasdaq Composite jumped 83.75 points to 7,586.43.

Data released on Thursday included jobless claims, which hit a six-week high of 231,000, but overall layoffs remained around their lowest in decades.

Private payroll processor ADP said the private sector added 177,000 jobs in June. The ADP report can be seen as a preview to the government’s monthly jobs report that will be released on Friday.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 39069.59 +4.33 +0.01%
SP500 S&P 500 5304.72 +36.88 +0.70%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 16920.794392 +184.76 +1.10%

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect that the U.S. economy added 195,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate should hold steady at 3.8%.

Also reported on Thursday was the IHS Markit final June U.S. services index which came in at 56.5 versus 56.8 in May. This marks the fastest business activity growth acceleration since April 2015.The ISM services index rose to 59.1 in June from 58.6.

The Federal Reserve released its latest meeting minutes Thursday afternoon. Ahead of the Fed minutes, the yield curve sank to the narrowest in almost 11 years Thursday morning with the spread between 10-year and two-year Treasury yields falling to just more than 28 basis points, the lowest since August 8, 2007.

Auto stocks climbed following a report of tariff talks between the U.S. and Europe.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GM GENERAL MOTORS CO. 44.10 +0.39 +0.88%
F FORD MOTOR CO. 12.16 +0.05 +0.41%
FCAU n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

The major U.S. stock indexes finished Tuesday’s holiday-shortened session with losses. The Dow and S&P 500 erased earlier gains in the afternoon while the Nasdaq flipped from positive to negative shortly after trading commenced and its losses accelerated in the afternoon.

Thursday is the eve of trade sanctions that the Trump administration has threatened to impose on Chinese goods.

Commodities were mixed. Oil slid 1.6% to $72.94 a barrel after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that weekly crude stocks increased by 1.2 million barrels versus forecasts for a 3.5 million barrel draw.

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report.