US stocks edge up, shrugging off jump in jobless claims

US stocks edge up, shrugging off jump in jobless claims

A man wears a protective mask as he walks on Wall Street during the coronavirus outbreak in New York. Credit: Reuters File Photo

Wall Street stocks inched higher early Thursday as hopes about the reopening economy offset another round of dreary data on employment and industrial orders.

About 15 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 0.1 percent and stood at 25,566.13.

The broad-based S&P 500 also added 0.1 percent at 3,039.82 while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.2 percent to 9,427.32.

US Labor Department data showed another 2.12 million people filed for unemployment in the United States last week, pushing total layoffs since the start of the coronavirus crisis to more than 40 million.

Also, new orders for US manufactured goods plunged 17.2 percent in April, after a similar steep decline in March, the Commerce Department reported.

Though terrible, the data was not significantly worse than expected. After tumbling in March, stocks have gained momentum on hopes the economy has bottomed out from the coronavirus shutdowns and will begin to rebound.

Stocks have risen the last two sessions, greeting steps to reopen US states and shrugging off worries about mounting tensions between the US and China, most recently over a restrictive law Beijing plans to impose on Hong Kong.

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