Wall Street Opens a Tough Higher as Low Claims Ease Slowdown Fears; Dow up 50 Pts By

© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith — U.S. stock markets opened Thursday a touch higher, futures reversing overnight losses as lower-than-expected jobless claims for last week calmed fears about the economy possibly slowing down. 

The Labor Department said that 310,000 people filed for jobless benefits last week, a new post-pandemic low. The figures were consistent with August’s on Wednesday, which also indicated a rapidly tightening labor market with another steep rise in vacancies.

By 9:35 AM ET (1335 GMT), the was 54 points, or 0..2%, at 35,085 points. The and the were both up in parallel.

The mood was also supported at the margins by news out of the European Central Bank, which stressed that its decision to slow the pace of its bond-buying over the next three months was not necessarily the start of a total phase-out of asset purchases.

GameStop (NYSE:) stock stood out in early dealing, falling 7.5% after disappointing with a lack of guidance for the rest of the year after its quarterly update late on Wednesday. The news revived concerns about how real the company’s self-reinvention as a modern digital-first retailer really is. 

Energy stocks were mixed as prices fell sharply in response to China saying it will release oil from its strategic reserves in order to keep a lid on domestic prices. Exxon Mobil (NYSE:) and Chevron (NYSE:) stock both fell by around 0.5%.


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