Stocks shook off a wobbly start Thursday and ended higher on Wall Street. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5%. Several earnings reports from big US companies came in better than analysts had expected, the AP reports, which helped put investors in a buying mood. Also, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said progress was being made on talks to deliver more stimulus to the economy. "Help is on the way. It will be bigger, it will be better, it will be safer, and it will be retroactive," she said. Treasury yields and oil prices ended higher. The S&P 500 rose 0.5%, closing at 3,453.49, per Business Insider. Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 153 points to 28,363.66, up 0.5%. The Nasdaq composite ticked up 0.2%, to 11,506.01.
Banks, health care and communications services stocks helped lift the market, outweighing losses in technology and real estate companies.The back-and-forth moves were typical of the market's recent meandering trading in recent weeks as investors try to gauge the chances of whether Washington will reach a deal. A piece of such a deal could include extra benefits for workers who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. A report on Thursday morning showed that 787,000 workers applied for unemployment benefits last week. While that's an incredibly high number relative to history, it's down from 842,000 the prior week. It also was not nearly as bad as economists were expecting.
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