Stocks tick higher as durable goods rise, jobless claims steady


U.S. stocks were trading higher after an encouraging report on durable goods, jobless claims, and despite more signs of persistent inflation. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 190 points or 0.5% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively in what is on pace to be a second straight day of gains for the final trading day of the week. The bond market will have a shortened trading session with the market closing at 2 p.m. ET. 

US ECONOMIC GROWTH REVISED UP TO 2.3% IN THIRD QUARTER, BUT STILL LAGGED PREVIOUS MONTHS

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35951.3 +197.41 +0.55%
SP500 S&P 500 4723.2 +26.64 +0.57%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15596.260257 +74.37 +0.48%

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Oil neared the $73 per barrel level. ExxonMobil continued to battle a refinery fire in its Baytown Texas plant. 

FIRE AT EXXON’S BAYTOWN TEXAS REFINERY

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND L.P. 52.40 -0.08 -0.15%
XOM EXXON MOBIL CORP. 61.27 +0.26 +0.42%

In economic data: Durable Goods, sales of big-ticket items, rebounded by 2.5% after rising just 0.1% in the prior month. The data backs up the latest Consumer Confidence Index which showed an uptick in spending plans over the next six months. 

Personal income and spending also rose with spending up 0.6% and income up 0.4%. 

On inflation, core personal consumption expenditures, which remove volatile food and energy prices, are also anticipated to jump 0.5% month-over-month in November. The year-over-year change in core PCE, which is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation, rose 4.7%, the highest reading in almost 33 years.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE ROSY, BUT COVID, INFLATION REMAIN HEADWINDS

And for jobless claims, those held steady at 205,000, little changed from the previous week’s total of 206,000. Continuing claims, which track the total number of unemployed workers collecting benefits, hit 1.859 million, still hovering near a pandemic low.

COVID-19 PILL: WHAT TO KNOW

In stocks, Merck received approval from the Food and Drug Administration on its COVID-19 pill after Pfizer’s was cleared Wednesday. Additionally, Novavax said its COVID regimen “demonstrated cross-reactive immune responses against Omicron” in an update. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MRK MERCK & CO. INC. 75.80 -0.35 -0.46%
PFE PFIZER INC. 59.05 -0.47 -0.80%
NVAX NOVAVAX INC. 173.48 -9.82 -5.36%

Electric vehicle maker shares in focus after truck maker Nikola said it delivered its first customer order. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NKLA NIKOLA CORP. 11.09 +1.69 +17.93%
TSLA TESLA INC. 1,028.20 +19.33 +1.92%

Investors continue to eye Apple. Hitting its $3 trillion market cap milestone appears likely to be pushed to 2022. Microsoft is the only other company that is a close second to this status. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAPL APPLE INC. 176.29 +0.65 +0.37%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 335.41 +2.21 +0.66%

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While it is a holiday-shortened week, equities will have a full trading session Thursday. There will be no trading in equities or U.S. Treasuries on Christmas Eve on Friday. Many world markets will be closed Friday in observance of Christmas.

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 Ken Martin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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