Dow Ends at Record High after Upbeat Jobless Claims Report

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record high on Thursday, bolstered by an upbeat weekly jobless claims report, while vaccine makers dipped after U.S. President Joe Biden backed plans to waive patents on COVID19 shots.

Lifted by Apple Inc, the SP 500 rose after a Labor Department report showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 498,000 for the week ended May 1, compared with 590,000 in the prior week.

Investors were awaiting a more comprehensive nonfarm payrolls report on Friday for clues on the strength of the labor market and potentially the U.S. Federal Reserves stance on monetary policy.

Investors are encouraged by the lowinterest rates and the stimulus that the government is putting into the economy. Were also seeing substantial increases in economic projections and earnings forecasts, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research.

Pharmaceutical companies dropped after the White House said Biden made the decision to back a proposed waiver for COVID19 vaccine intellectual property rights.

Shares in Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc fell 1 or more. Johnson Johnson and Novavax Inc ended higher after spending much of the day in negative territory.

The Nasdaq biotechnology index dropped 0.4.

Modernas shares cut some losses after it said countries around the globe would continue buying its COVID19 vaccine for years even if patents on the shots are waived.

The SP 500 financials index was the top…

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