The Nasdaq Composite closed above 11,000 for the first time on Thursday, marking its seventh straight day of gains, as Apple moved closer to becoming the first company with a $2 trillion market capitalization.
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Apple shares stretched to a record high of $455.61 apiece. They need to top $467.76 apiece in order for the tech giant to clear the $2 trillion mark.
The Nasdaq, meanwhile, gained 1 percent to book its 32nd record-high close of the year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 186 points, or 0.68 percent, while the S&P 500 shot up 0.64 percent.
"Although 11,000 by itself doesn’t mean much, these big round numbers are a nice reminder of just how strong this rally has been since the March lows," said Ryan Detrick, chief investment strategist at LPL Financial.
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Thursday's gains came after the U.S. labor market showed small improvements and lawmakers continued to iron out a deal for COVID-19 relief.
Continuing jobless claims for the week ended July 25 fell to 16.1 million from the prior week’s revised reading of 16.95 million. Initial claims were 1.186 million for the week ended Aug. 1, the lowest since the pandemic began. The July jobs report will be released on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, lawmakers on Capitol Hill continued negotiations for a relief bill ahead of Friday’s planned recess. The package could include an extension of the additional $600-per-week unemployment benefit, a further freeze on evictions and aid for cities and states whose economies were damaged by the pandemic.
Looking at earnings, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. lost $432 million during the three months through June with occupancy averaging 22 percent as stay-at-home orders eliminated non-essential travel.
Restaurant Brands International Inc. reported a 25 percent quarterly sales drop as weakness at Burger King and Tim Hortons was partially offset by strength at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.
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Papa John’s International Inc. registered record sales as customers scarfed down pizza while sheltering at home. The pizza chain said preliminary comparable sales for July were up 30 percent in North America and 14 percent internationally.
Streaming platform Roku Inc. added 3.2 million accounts, the most outside of a holiday quarter, helping drive a 42 percent surge in revenue. The company warned, however, that advertising spending would remain uncertain for the rest of the year.
Elsewhere, Quicken Loans-parent Rocket Companies Inc. priced its initial public offering at $18 per share, below the $20 to $22 that was expected. The company sold 100 million shares, which was below the 150 million that it was seeking.
Looking at commodities, gold surged $20.40 to $2,051.50 an ounce while West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 24 cents to $41.95 per barrel.
U.S. Treasurys finished little changed with the yield on the 10-year note ending at 0.535 percent.
In Europe, Britain’s FTSE paced the decline, down 1.27 percent after the Bank of England warned an economic recovery would take longer than expected. Meanwhile, France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX were weaker by 0.98 percent and 0.54 percent, respectively.
Asian markets finished mixed, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sliding 0.69 percent and Japan’s Nikkei slipping 0.43 percent while China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.26 percent.