Nasdaq closes above 11k for first time as tech-related stocks rally

US stocks rose on Thursday with the Nasdaq closing above the 11,000 mark for the first time, bolstered by strong gains in tech-related shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 185.46 points, or 0.68 per cent, to 27,386.98. The S&P 500 climbed 21.39 points, or 0.64 per cent, to 3,349.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 109.67 points, or 1 per cent, to 11,108.07, Xinhua reported.

Shares of major US tech giants, the so-called FAANG group of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet, all finished higher.

Of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors, communication services and technology rallied 2.45 per cent and 1.46 per cent, respectively, outpacing the rest. Energy dropped 0.71 per cent, the worst-performing group.

Meanwhile, US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with six of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.

The moves came after data showed nearly 1.19 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, compared with a Dow Jones estimate of 1.423 million.

US initial jobless claims, a rough way to gauge layoffs, came in at 1.186 million in the week ending August 1, following an upward revised 1.435 million in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday.

The latest figure marked the 20th straight week that new claims topped 1 million as the pandemic forced furloughs and layoffs across the nation.

Wall Street also paid close attention to talks on a US coronavirus relief package.

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