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US Stocks climb to record highs

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The US stocks advanced on Thursday, 07 January 2021, with major indices- S&P 500 index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite all settling at new record closing highs.

At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index advanced 211.73 points, or 0.69%, to 31,041.13. The S&P 500 index was up 55.65 points, or 1.48%, to 3,803.79. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index added 326.68 points, or 2.56%, to 13,067.48.

The strength on the Wall Street propelled came as U. S. lawmakers certified President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The certification of Biden's victory along with Democratic victories in Georgia's Senate runoff elections will give Democrats control of the House, Senate and the White House. Traders seem optimistic a Democratic-controlled Congress will provide more coronavirus relief payments, infrastructure spending, and more generous passing of additional stimulus to get the economy back on track.

Buying interest was also generated in reaction to a report from the Labor Department unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U. S. unemployment benefits in the week ended January 2nd. The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 787,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised level of 790,000.

ECONOMIC NEWS: US Services Index Grows At Faster Pace In December- US service sector activity grew at a faster pace in the month of December, according to a report released by the Institute for Supply Management on Thursday. The ISM said its services PMI rose to 57.2 in December from 55.9 in November, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the service sector. The unexpected uptick by the headline index came as the business activity index inched up to 59.4 in December from 58.0 in November, while the new orders index crept up to 58.5 from 57.2. Meanwhile, the report said the employment index slid to 48.2 in December from 51.5 in November, indicating a contraction in employment in the service sector after three consecutive months of growth.

The prices index also fell to 64.8 in December from 66.1 in November, pointing to a modest slowdown in the pace of price growth. The ISM said its manufacturing PMI climbed to 60.7 in December after dipping to 57.5 in November, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

US Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Down Slightly- The Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U. S. unemployment benefits in the week ended January 2nd. The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 787,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised level of 790,000. The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also fell to 818,750, a decrease of 18,750 from the previous week's revised average of 837,500. Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also declined by 126,000 to 5.072 million in the week ended December 26th.

COMMODITY NEWS: Global oil prices rose on Thursday. Investors shrugged off the political unrest in the US. Instead, the focus was on prospects for greater US fiscal stimulus and the commitment by Saudi Arabia to trim crude oil output. Brent crude rose by US8 cents or 0.1% to US$54.38 a barrel. And the US Nymex rose by US20 cents or 0.4% to US$50.83 a barrel.

Among Indian ADR, Wipro fell 1.81% to $5.96, Dr Reddys Labs shed 1.07% to $71.42, ICICI Bank dropped 1.78% to $14.89, and INFOSYS fell 1.02% to $17.55. WNS Holdings added 0.52% to $71.67, Vedanta rose 4.15% to $10.28, Tata Motors added 0.82% to $13.45, HDFC Bank rose 1.67% to $71.96, and Azure Power Global grew 1.16% to $48.90.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, January 08 2021. 08:43 IST