S&P 500 hits 54th record close of the year ahead of crucial jobs report

  • US stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors await Friday’s crucial jobs report.
  • The S&P 500 closed at a record high for the 54th time of the year, while the Nasdaq also hit a new record close.
  • Jobless claims fell to 340,000 last week, beating Bloomberg economist estimates of 345,000.
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US stocks gained on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closing at record highs ahead of Friday’s crucial jobs report. For the S&P 500, it was the 54th record close of 2021.

The August jobs report will likely influence the Fed’s decision as to when to and how much it should taper its monthly bond purchases of $120 billion, which was put into place to calm credit markets during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since March 2020 last week, hitting 340,000. That beat economist estimates of 345,000. Continuing claims fell to 2.75 million for the week, coming in slightly below estimates.

The jobless claims data signals ongoing strength in the economic recovery from COVID-19, which coincides with a strong second-quarter earnings season from S&P 500 companies.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

Despite the stock market’s ongoing record surge, there are still risks that could derail the historic rally. DataTrek’s Nicholas Colas outlined seven potential risks that could push stocks lower into year-end.

Shares of Chewy plunged as much as 10% after second-quarter earnings results missed analyst estimates and showed a slow-down in growth.

The US division of Binance is considering an IPO within the next three years as cryptocurrency interest soars among investors.

Also in crypto, the IRS said it posed as a crypto trader called “Mr. Coins” in a $180,000 dark-web drug sting. Cryptocurrencies are often used as a form of payment for dark-web marketplaces.

Beijing will set up a new stock exchange in the capital to support and facilitate the development of small and medium sized businesses, China’s president Xi Jinping said on Thursday.

Cardano’s ada cryptocurrency soared above $3 for the first time ever on Thursday after network upgrades enabled smart contracts. Meanwhile, JPMorgan believes the surge in retail trading spilled over to cryptocurrency altcoins that have seen a surge in popularity this summer.

Oil prices jumped. West Texas Intermediate crude was up as much as 1.71%, to $69.76 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 1.70%, to $72.81 per barrel.

Gold fell as much as 0.24%, to $1,811.60 per ounce.