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US STOCKS-Dow hits record high as cyclicals rise on jobless claims data

Stock MarketsMay 07, 2021 00:50
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* Weekly jobless claims fall more than expected
* Pharma slides as Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine IP waiver
* Regeneron up on better-than-expected quarterly profit
* Indexes: Dow up 0.46%, S&P rises 0.26%, Nasdaq falls 0.13%

(Adds comments, updates prices to early afternoon)
By Shreyashi Sanyal and Sruthi Shankar
May 6 (Reuters) - The Dow Jones Industrials .DJI hit a
record high on Thursday, as economically sensitive stocks rose
after an upbeat weekly jobless claims report, while vaccine
makers fell as President Joe Biden backed plans to waive patents
on COVID-19 shots.
Cyclical sectors including the S&P 500 financials .SPSY
and industrials .SPLRCI rose after a Labor Department report
showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a
seasonally adjusted 498,000 for the week ended May 1 compared to
590,000 in the prior week. Investors are now awaiting a more comprehensive non-farm
payrolls report on Friday for clues on the strength of the labor
market and potentially the U.S. Federal Reserve's stance on
monetary policy.
"Today's read is another proof point that we're one step
closer to full economic recovery, sooner than some may have
expected," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment
strategy at E*TRADE Financial.
"So as we see some serious momentum building on the jobs
front, all eyes will be on how this plays into action taken by
the Fed, if any."
Shares in Pfizer Inc PFE.N , Moderna Inc MRNA.O , Johnson
& Johnson JNJ.N and Novavax Inc NVAX.O , all involved in the
making of COVID-19 vaccines, fell between 0.2% and 1.7%.
The declines were triggered after the White House said Biden
made the decision to back a proposed waiver for COVID-19 vaccine
intellectual property rights. The S&P 500 healthcare sector .SPXHC slipped 0.8%, while
the Nasdaq biotechnology index .NBI dropped 1.2%.
Moderna's shares cut some losses after it said countries
around the globe would continue buying its COVID-19 vaccine for
years even if patents on the shots are waived. "Obviously companies spend so much time and money protecting
their trade secrets that I think it was a little bit of a shock
for many to see that sort of proposal go through," said JJ
Kinahan, chief market strategist, TD Ameritrade.
Shares of highly valued technology-related stocks like
Microsoft Corp MSFT.O , Apple Inc AAPL.O , Alphabet Inc
GOOGL.O and Inc AMZN.O were trading mixed.
At 12:16 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up
156.12 points, or 0.46%, at 34,386.46, the S&P 500 .SPX was up
10.64 points, or 0.26%, at 4,178.23 and the Nasdaq Composite
.IXIC was down 17.06 points, or 0.13%, at 13,565.37.
Among other stocks, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc REGN.O
rose 3.5% after the drugmaker reported a better-than-expected
quarterly profit and said it expects demand for its COVID-19
antibody therapy to hold up. Uber Technologies Inc UBER.N fell 8.5% as it signaled it
would pay drivers more to get cars back on the road and
disclosed a $600 million charge to provide UK drivers with
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.25-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and for a 2.17-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 100 new 52-week highs and no new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 90 new highs and 126 new lows.

US STOCKS-Dow hits record high as cyclicals rise on jobless claims data

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