US stocks finish higher as tech shares rally

Wall Street’s major averages pared earlier losses to end higher on Thursday, buoyed by strong gains in tech shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 46.85 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 27,739.73. The S&P 500 was up 10.66 points, or 0.32 per cent, to 3,385.51. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 118.49 points, or 1.06 per cent, to 11,264.95, Xinhua reported.

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

Of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors, technology and communication services advanced 1.44 per cent and 1.37 per cent, respectively, outpacing the rest. Energy dipped 2.13 per cent, the worst-performing group.

Meanwhile, US-listed Chinese companies traded roughly flat, with five of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.

Earlier in the session, US equities were under pressure as data showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits jumped back above 1 million last week.

US initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, increased by 135,000 to 1.106 million in the week ending August 15, reflecting a still-elevated level of joblessness in the nation, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast 910,000 new claims during the week.

Wall Street continued to digest the minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s July meeting released on Wednesday.

“Members agreed that the ongoing public health crisis would weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term and was posing considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” said the minutes.