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Dow Explodes With 200-Point Gain as Big Tech Continues to Lead

Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:29 PM
Sam Bourgi
Last Updated September 23, 2020 2:29 PM
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by as much as 204 points Thursday morning. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also advanced.
  • Weekly jobless claims remained below 1 million for the week ended Sept. 5, a positive sign for the economic recovery.
  • Republicans and Democrats remain deadlocked on a stimulus relief bill.

The Dow and broader U.S. stock market traded mostly higher Thursday, as technology companies continued to lead the market rebound following a brief stint in correction territory.

Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq

All of Wall Street’s major indexes opened higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by as much as 204 points after the open.

Dow Jones, DJIA
The Dow Jones index rose sharply Thursday morning and was last up 164 points. | Chart: Yahoo Finance 

Dow blue-chips Apple and Salesforce were the biggest gainers, rising 4% and 3.8%, respectively. Shares of Caterpillar, Dow Inc., and Amgen each rose more than 1.8%.

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks rose 0.6%. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1%.

Most sectors reported gains Thursday, with information technology leading the pack . Companies in the discretionary, materials, and financials sectors also rose sharply.

Stocks exploded higher on Wednesday, with the major indexes snapping a brutal three-day losing streak that dragged the Nasdaq into correction territory .

Economic Data, Stimulus Talks

Investors eyed a fresh batch of economic data on Thursday that showed weekly jobless claims continued to decline from their pandemic highs. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits  reached 884,000 for the week ending Sept. 5, matching the previous week’s revised figure.

Although weekly claims briefly returned above 1 million last month, they have been trekking lower for months as government lockdown measures began to ease.

weekly jobless claims
Weekly jobless claims are back below 1 million. | Chart: CNBC 

On the stimulus front, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “optimistic”  that GOP leaders would backstop a proposed stimulus deal on Thursday despite Democratic opposition.

Republicans have proposed a $500 billion rescue package that is surely going to be rejected by Democrats, according to the Associated Press . House Democrats passed a $3.5 trillion relief bill in May and are said to be looking for another trillion-dollar rescue deal.

The Republican measure, which includes $105 billion to help schools and $300 per week in supplemental jobless benefits, is headed for a test vote on Thursday.

The stalemate also affects negotiations to keep the government funded past September. Called a continuing resolution (CR), Congress needs to agree on a short-term spending measure to avoid a government shutdown after Sept. 30.

Republican Senator Roy Blunt says a failure to get anything done this month would push out a potential resolution until after the election:

My guess would be that if we leave in September with a CR, we will not come back to do anything before the election.