· Markets have been incredibly resilient; there is a big fear of missing out and it is the old stalwarts, the technology leaders that keep driving markets higher. The Nasdaq ended the session above 11,000 for the first time
· Economic data released on Thursday painted a mixed picture as US Labour Department numbers showed a first fall in jobless claims in three weeks, although a separate report showed a 54% surge in job cuts announced by employers in July. The data comes ahead of the government payrolls report today.
· With last month’s surge in infections, Friday’s jobs report will probably show a slowdown in the recovery — or worse. Non-farm payrolls are forecast to show a 1.5 million increase in July, less than a third of June’s 4.8 million, with the jobless rate ticking down to 10.5% from 11.1%.
· The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 185.46 points or 0.68%, to 27,386.98, the S&P 500 gained 21.39 points or 0.64%, to 3,349.16 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1%, to 11,108.07.
· Results earnings season is in its final stretch, and with better-than-feared second-quarter earnings, investors are looking to the next fiscal aid package to further cope with fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans and Democrats remained far apart over what to include in another wave of relief.
· Donald Trump has vowed to take unilateral action if the White House and Democrats are unable to reach a stimulus deal by Friday. The president said he would issue executive orders either today or Saturday on extending unemployment benefits and imposing a payroll tax holiday.
· China’s July trade numbers may paint a mixed picture of the world’s economic rebound. Consensus is for exports to drop 0.7% on year — compared with a 0.5% gain in June — and for imports to advance 2.5%, with an assist from higher commodity prices. The surplus may narrow to $42.55 billion.