Wall Street ekes out pre-Thanksgiving gains

Wall Street ekes out pre-Thanksgiving gains

New York: US stocks managed to hold modest gains after a series of economic reports led by better-than-expected data on jobless claims kept the mood positive ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average drifted up 30.69 points (0.29%) on Wednesday to close at 10,464.40, its best closing level since 2 October 2008.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite rose 6.87 points (0.32%) to 2,176.05 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 4.98 points (0.45%) to 1,110.63.

Market action came after a series of economic reports that sent mixed signals to traders. Trading was quiet with many participants absent ahead of today’s holiday.

One report showed initial claims for US jobless insurance benefits plunged to their lowest levels since September last year.

The adjusted number of new unemployment claims in the week ending 21 November decreased by 35,000 to 466,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 501,000.

Other data showed US incomes rose 0.2% and consumer spending jumped 0.7% in October, helped by a rebound in auto sales. A third report showed orders for durable manufactured goods fell 0.6% in October.