Stocks rise following encouraging employment data, earnings

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose in morning trading on Wall Street Thursday as investors reviewed encouraging jobs market data and a strong batch of corporate earnings reports.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.4% as of 10:06 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 178 points, or 0.5%, to 34,975 and the Nasdaq rose 0.4%.

The gains were broad in what has been a choppy week of trading. More than 75% of companies in the benchmark S&P 500 rose, with banks and a mix of consumer-facing companies leading the way. Technology and industrial companies also notched solid gains.

Bond yields rose to to 1.21% from 1.18% late Wednesday.

Wall Street got another glimpse of the recovering jobs market after the Labor Department reported that unemployment claims — a proxy for layoffs — dropped last week by 14,000. The generally encouraging report follows a weak report from payroll processor ADP on Wednesday showing that the private sector added jobs at a much slower pace than expected in July.

The labor market has lagged other areas of the economy during the recovery from the virus pandemic. Investors will get a more comprehensive picture on Friday when the Labor Department releases its July jobs report.

Investors are also weighing another batch of earnings reports. Underwear maker Hanesbrands jumped 9.1% after reporting solid second-quarter financial results. COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna rose 2.4% after also reporting strong results.

Several companies that benefitted from the shift in consumer habits during the height of the pandemic slipped after reporting disappointing results or forecasts. Online crafts marketplace Etsy fell 9.2% after giving investors a weak sales forecast as more people return to shopping in person and going out more for activities. Video-streaming service Roku shed 4.5% after active accounts and streaming hours fell short of analysts’ forecasts during the second quarter.

Investors will watch Weber, the pioneering maker of grills and other outdoor cooking equipment, which makes its stock market debut later today.

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