Benchmark US indices closed higher on Thursday, July 1, as a strong economic recovery increased the prospect of a robust earnings season of big companies in the coming weeks.
The S&P 500 was up 0.52% to 4,319.94. The Dow Jones gained 0.38% to 34,633.53. The NASDAQ Composite rose 0.13% to 14,522.38, and the small-cap Russell 2000 ticked up 0.81% to 2,329.36.
Economists said the number of people filing for jobless benefits dropped to 364,000 in the week ended June 26 from 415,000 in the prior week. The Labor Department said it was the sharpest pandemic-era decline since March 14, 2020. The continued labor market recovery signalled a rapid expansion of the economic activities in the US, raising hopes of a bumper upcoming earnings season.
The blue-chip index rallied to its six consecutive record closes, buoyed by the labor data. Ten of the 11 critical sectors of the S&P 500 stayed firmly in positive territory, with energy and utility stocks gaining the most even as other key segments followed closely behind.
Energy stocks were boosted by the news of OPEC oil cartel weighing on lifting a pandemic-era production limit to leverage the current demand and higher oil prices in rich countries.
According to people familiar with the development, Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to a proposal to increase production by around half a million barrels per day from August and by two million barrels from December. However, the OPEC had postponed its planned summit on Thursday by a day after the UAE raised objections to their proposals.
Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that 130 countries, including China, India, and Switzerland, have agreed to support the Biden administration's 15% global minimum corporate tax policy. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said in a separate note also said that the plan would help shore up an additional US$150 billion in tax revenue annually.
Volkswagen America CEO Scott Keogh said that the company had sold more than 211,000 cars in the first half of 2021, marking its highest sales in almost 50 years. He also predicted the sales to reach 400,000 vehicles this year. Volkswagen stock (VWAGY) rose 1.32% after the forecast.
Shares of Chinese ride-hailing company DIDI Global Inc. (DIDI) jumped more than 15% at the market close, taking its valuation to around US$78.62 billion a day after its debut on NYSE Wednesday.
Semiconductor maker Micron Technology (MU) stock dropped 5.35% a day after announcing its quarterly earnings report. The company said it plans to sell its Lehi and Utah facilities to Texas Instruments. In other technology stocks, Nvidia Corp (NVDA) rose 1.21%.
The Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and ASML Holdings NV (ASML) shed 1.59% and 1.69%, respectively. Accenture Plc (ACN) advanced 1.62%.
In financial stocks, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK-B) rose 0.74%. JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Mastercard (MA) gained 0.93% and 1.52%, respectively, while PayPal (PYPL) fell 1.39%.
Stocks of utility companies NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE) rose 1.09%, Duke Energy Corp (DUK) gained 0.77%, and The Southern Co (SO) rose 1.55%. Dominion Energy (D) stock advanced 0.67%.
In the energy sector, Chevron Corporation (CVX) gained 1.36%, PetroChina Company Limited (PTR) rose 3.37%, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDS-A) increased by 2.44%, while Enbridge Inc. (ENB) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SNP) advanced 0.81% and 2.43%, respectively.
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Top performers on S&P 500 included Diamondback Energy Inc (6.08%), Occidental Petroleum Corp (5.08%), Marathon Oil Corp (4.04%), DXC Technology Co (3.72%). On NASDAQ, top performers were Alterity Therapeutics Ltd (64.62%), TRxADE Health Inc (62.59%), Marin Software Inc (40.54%), Bridgeline Digital Inc (33.72%). On Dow Jones, Nike Inc (2.27%), Travelers Companies Inc (1.42%), Chevron Corp (1.40%), American Express Co (1.30%) were the leaders.
Top laggards on S&P 500 included Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (-7.41%), Micron Technology Inc (-5.73%), KLA Corp (-3.85%), Teradyne Inc (-3.42%). On NASDAQ, Citius Pharmaceuticals Inc (-25.29%), 1stdibs.Com Inc (-22.12%), Borqs Technologies Inc (-22.07%), Aligos Therapeutics Inc (-17.29%). On Dow Jones, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (-7.41%), Walmart Inc (-1.21%), Goldman Sachs Group Inc (-1.20%), Caterpillar Inc (-0.42%) were the laggards.
Top volume movers were Micron Technology Inc (11.87M), Apple Inc (11.47M), Ford Motor Co (10.51M), Advanced Micro Devices Inc (9.05M), General Electric Co (7.73M), Intel Corp (7.42M), Bank of America Corp (7.17M), Marin Software Inc (28.23M), Alterity Therapeutics Ltd (24.54M), ContextLogic Inc (13.33M), TRxADE Health Inc (12.31M), Sundial Growers Inc (8.91M), Bridgeline Digital Inc (8.62M), Exela Technologies Inc (7.50M).
Futures & Commodities
Gold futures were up 0.32% to US$1,777.25 per ounce. Silver slightly decreased 0.06% to US$26.150 per ounce, while copper fell 1.11% to US$4.2415.
Brent oil remains flat at US$75.57 per barrel and WTI crude increased 2.03% to US$74.96.
The 30-year Treasury bond yields was down 0.17% to 2.063, while the 10-year bond yields increased 1.07% to 1.460.
US Dollar Futures Index rose 0.12% to US$92.545.