Dow closes above 34K for first time on jobs, retail bounce

The Nasdaq Composite is 0.4% below its all-time peak

Stocks hit records highs Thursday as investors sifted through strong economic data and another batch of earnings

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 32160.3 +298.32 +0.94%
SP500 S&P 500 3942.03 +25.39 +0.65%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 11644.756118 +14.24 +0.12%

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 305 points, or 0.9%, to cross the 34,000 level for the first time. UnitedHealth and Microsoft touching fresh records. The 1,000-point move from 33,000 to 34,000 was the third fastest on record, as tracked by the Dow Jones Market Data Group. Moves of such magnitude become easier as the index grows in value and equate smaller and smaller percentage gains. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UNH UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC. 469.50 -2.52 -0.53%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 279.42 +3.22 +1.17%

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite, meanwhile advanced 1.11% and 1.31%, respectively. The gains propelled the S&P 500 to its own record high and the Nasdaq closed 0.4% below its all-time peak.  


The advance came after the Census Bureau said retail sales surged 9.8% month over month in March, far exceeding the 5.9% gain that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. Additionally,  initial jobless claims for the week ended April 10 totaled 576,000, the lowest since lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 began in March 2020.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 27.74 -0.08 -0.29%
C CITIGROUP INC. 44.16 -0.09 -0.20%
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 126.53 +0.71 +0.57%
C CITIGROUP INC. 44.16 -0.09 -0.20%

On Thursday, Bank of America Corp. reported quarterly profit more than doubled after the firm released $2.7 billion of reserves that had been set aside to protect against loan losses during the pandemic. The bank also announced a $25 billion stock buyback plan. 

Citigroup Inc. beat on both earnings and revenue and said it would shut down most of its consumer-banking operations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  

The better-than-expected results from Bank of America and Citigroup are further evidence of the strength in the sector displayed by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co on Wednesday. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 33.13 +0.17 +0.53%

Elsewhere in earnings, Delta Air Lines Inc. said its quarterly loss widened from a year ago, but that it expects to return to profitability in the September quarter. Adjusted earnings per share missed estimates while revenue beat. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
COIN COINBASE GLOBAL INC. 74.77 -0.21 -0.28%

Meanwhile, Coinbase Global Inc. was in focus during its first full day of trading as a public company as shares continued to climb. The stock, on Wednesday afternoon, opened at $381 apiece and hit a high of $429.54 before settling at $328.28 and a market capitalization of $85.8 billion. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PPD n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

In deals, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. agreed to buy PPD Inc. for about $21 billion including debt. The agreement will pay PPD shareholders $47.50 per share – a 10.6% premium to Wednesday’s closing price. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DELL DELL TECHNOLOGIES INC. 38.26 +1.04 +2.79%

Dell Technologies Inc. announced plans to spin off its 81% stake in cloud-software company VMWare Inc. which will pay a special dividend of up to $12 billion to the firm’s shareholders. Dell shareholders will receive 0.44 VMWare shares for each share they own. 

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 31 cents to $63.46 per barrel and gold jumped $30.50 to $1,765.40 per ounce. 


Overseas markets were mixed. 

European markets were higher across the board with Britain’s FTSE 100 rising 0.63% while France’s CAC 40 gained 0.41% and Germany's DAX 30 increased 0.3%. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.07%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.37% and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.52%.