Stocks were up slightly on Thursday, as economic data indicated a better outlook for the job market, as well as a substantial increase in business activity.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 ended the day 0.12 percent higher at 1,655.08 points, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose a slight 0.04 percent to close at 14,937.48, and the NASDAQ added 0.27 percent with a final tally of 3,658.78.
According to the Department of Labor, initial weekly jobless claims were at 323,000, down from last week’s 332,000, and below the 330,000 figure that had been the expectation of economists. Meanwhile, the August ISM services index took a leap that resulted in a reading of 58.6, up from the August reading of 56. Both figures suggest better than expected economic activity, and could bolster the Federal Reserve’s case for beginning the winding down of fiscal stimulus.
On the S&P 500, Boston Scientific (BSX) , one of the year’s best performing stocks, added nearly 6 percent to end the day at 11.57 on heavy trading. Meanwhile, tech stocks fared well, with Micron Technology (MU) continuing its rise, and Advanced Mirco Devices (AMD) in tow.
The Dow was more or less flat, but was held back by losses for AT&T (T) and Home Depot (HD) , both down over 1 percent.
On the NASDAQ, Himax Technologies (HIMX) continued its streak, rising over 17 percent to finish the day at $8.62 on high volume. Other techs helped out the index, with substantial gains for Groupon (GRPN) , Broadcom Corp. (BRCM) , and Zynga Inc. (ZNGA) .