Wall Street shares were higher on Thursday, helped by favorable economic data and some stronger-than-expected profit and loss statements.
The S&P 500 rose 1 percent in early trading, while the Nasdaq composite added 1.1 percent.
The Labor Department said the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 293,000 last week, down 36,000 from the previous week and the lowest level since the start of the pandemic.
The government also said producer prices – a measure of inflation – rose 0.5 percent in September, slower than in August and below economists’ expectations.
Banks reported better-than-expected earnings on Thursday, pushing Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo up more than 1 percent in early trading. Bank of America added 2%.
Shares in UnitedHealth Group rose about 6 percent after the healthcare giant said its third-quarter revenue was up 11 percent from the same period last year. Walgreens Boots Alliance shares fell more than 3 percent after announcing at its virtual investor conference that it will invest $ 5.2 billion in its partner company VillageMD to accelerate healthcare and clinic rollouts.
European stocks were higher, with the Stoxx Europe 600 jumping more than 1 percent. Asian markets closed mixed.