U.S. equity markets clambered higher Thursday as investors digested record jobless claims and waited for the House to vote on a $2 trillion relief package.
First-time unemployment filings surged to a record 3.28 million last week, according to the Labor Department, as the COVID-19 pandemic prompted businesses to temporarily close their doors and lay off employees. The previous record was 695,000, set in 1982.
The all-time high in claims came hours after the Senate voted 96-0, passing the $2 trillion relief package that would extend aid to individuals, small businesses and corporations hit hardest by the pandemic. The House of Representatives is scheduled to debate the bill on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained as many as 1,171 points, or 5.5 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite climbed as much as 4.7 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. An increase at the close of trading of 1,109.77 points or more would lift the Dow out of bear-market territory.
Looking at stocks, hard-hit travel-related names are seeking direction as the status of the $2 trillion relief package remains in limbo.
Boeing shares continued to gain, adding to their 67 percent climb this week.
Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron were weaker as West Texas Intermediate crude oil plunged 3 percent to $23.76 a barrel. U.S. shale names Continental Resources and Pioneer Natural Resources also fell. Read more at FOX Business