Stocks are tipping higher in early action, with broader indexes finding traction on the back of mostly encouraging earnings news outside of the energy sector. Federal Reserve commentary hinting at a December interest rate hike triggered a pause for the S&P 500 (SPX) on Wednesday but wasn’t enough to prevent Thursday’s mild rebound. Traders also said the broad index is likely to churn since it’s near an important line—2100.
With Wednesday’s drop, the SPX is now up some 1% on the week and is about 1.3% shy of tickling its May record-high close (figure 1).
More From the Fed. New York Fed President William Dudley spoke early Thursday, while Philly Fed President Patrick Harker is slated to give welcoming remarks at a gathering on energy interdependence. Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer is expected to take part in a panel discussion and speeches are expected from both Fed Gov. Daniel Tarullo and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart. This line-up follows remarks from Fed chief Janet Yellen that left the door open to a December rate hike.
Jobless Claims Tick Up. The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits at the end of October rose, government data showed. Initial jobless claims in the period running from Oct. 25 to Oct. 31 shot up by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 276,000. That result matched the highest level in two months, perhaps a sign of some softening in the labor market? The last time jobless claims were higher was at the end of August.
Facebook “Liked”: Shares in Facebook (FB) gained after the social-media giant posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings late Wednesday. But Qualcomm (QCOM) fell after its profit guidance for the current quarter disappointed. Whole Foods Market (WFM) dropped following earnings that missed forecasts late Wednesday.
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