U.S. equity markets remained in reach of record highs Thursday as investors digested a Republican counteroffer to President Biden’s infrastructure plan and key economic data.
|I:DJI||DOW JONES AVERAGES||34464.64||+141.59||+0.41%|
|I:COMP||NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX||13736.275686||-1.72||-0.01%|
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138 points, or 0.4%, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.11% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.01%. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 finished Wednesday within 1.% of their respective all-time highs. The Nasdaq was within 3% of its own record peak.
Senate Republicans on Thursday morning unveiled a $928 billion counteroffer to Biden’s massive $1.7 trillion infrastructure package. The proposal, which keeps the 2017 tax cuts intact, allocates $506 billion for roads bridges and major projects. It’s size tops $1 trillion after including about $125 billion for Endless Frontiers, which provides funding for research and development.
In economic news, Initial jobless claims fell to a fresh pandemic low of 406,000, better than estimates of 425,000. This as the second estimate of first-quarter gross domestic product came in at 6.4%, slightly below the expected revision of 6.5%. Additionally, durable goods orders fell 1.3%, missing the 0.7% growth that economists were anticipating.
In stocks, Boeing Co. shares hit a one-month high after rival Airbus raised its production targets amid signs of a global economic recovery. The airline maker, along with Caterpillar, were the top two Dow performers.
|BA||THE BOEING CO.||250.53||+9.26||+3.84%|
Ford Motor. Co remained in focus after the automaker on Wednesday announced plans to increase investment in electric vehicles to $30 billion by 2025 with the expectation that 40% of its global volume will be fully electric by 2030. Shares gained 8.55% on the news.
|F||FORD MOTOR CO.||14.91||+1.00||+7.19%|
Elsewhere, meme stocks including AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and GameStop Corp. continued to squeeze higher with the former more than doubling over the past four sessions.
|AMC||AMC ENTERTAINMENT HOLDINGS INC||26.53||+6.97||+35.63%|
In earnings, Best Buy Inc. reported quarterly earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street estimates as stimulus checks boosted demand for technology products and services. The electronics retailer raised its comparable sales growth outlook.
Discount retailer Dollar General Corp. said quarterly same-store sales fell 4.6% year over year as demand for consumable items, including food, declined and fewer customers visited stores. The company attributed the 4.2% rise in its quarterly profit to stimulus efforts.
Costco Wholesale Corp., Dell Technologies Inc., and Salesforce.com Inc. are among the companies set to release their quarterly results after the closing bell, along with Gap which also announced a deal with Walmart for home goods.
|COST||COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP.||387.50||+1.88||+0.49%|
In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 64 cents to $66.85 per barrel and gold lost $5.50 to $1,895.70 per ounce.
Overseas markets were quiet.
European bourses traded higher with France’s CAC 40 up 0.69%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX 30 slipped by 0.1% and 0.28%, respectively.
In Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.43%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.18% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.33%.