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Dow Moving Higher For Seventh Consecutive Session

Stocks have moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday, with the major averages all moving to the upside after closing mixed for two straight days. The Dow is advancing for the seventh straight session, climbing to its best levels in over a month.

Currently, the major averages are just off their highs of the session. The Dow is up 188.75 points or 0.5 percent at 39,245.14, the Nasdaq is up 27.08 points or 0.2 percent at 16,329.84 and the S&P 500 is up 16.72 points or 0.3 percent at 5,204.39.

The strength on Wall Street comes following the release of a Labor Department report showing a much bigger than expected increase by first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended May 4th.

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The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 231,000, an increase of 22,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 209,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 210,000 from the 208,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the much bigger than expected increase, jobless claims reached their highest level since hitting 234,000 in week ended August 26th.

The data may has added to recently renewed optimism that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates in the coming months.

While the Fed is still widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged in June, the chances rates will be lower by September have reached 87.4 percent, according to CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.

Among individual stocks, shares of AppLovin (APP) have skyrocketed after the mobile technology company reported first quarter results that beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

Glasses retailer Warby Parker (WRBY) has also shown a substantial move to the upside after reporting a narrower than expected first quarter loss on revenues that exceeded estimates.

On the other hand, shares of Airbnb (ABNB) have moved sharply lower after the vacation rental company reported better than expected first quarter results but provided disappointing guidance.

Sector News

Gold stocks are turning in a strong performance on the day, resulting in a 1.9 percent advance by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index. The index is on pace to end the session at its best closing level in a year.

The rally by gold stocks comes amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, with gold for June delivery climbing $14.80 to $2,337.10 an ounce.

Considerable strength is also visible among commercial real estate stocks, as reflected by the 1.5 percent gain being posted by the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index.

Energy, housing and retail stocks are also seeing notable strength, while most of the other major sectors are showing more modest moves.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index surged by 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.7 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.5 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are showing a lack of direction following the modest pullback seen on Wednesday. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by less than a basis point at 4.487 percent.

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