Nasdaq Composite Index surged more than 1% as tech shares rally.
U.S. stocks finished higher on Thursday, with the Nasdaq gaining 1.3% as Apple Inc. crossed the trillion-dollar valuation mark for the first time ever.
The technology-driven Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) was Wall Street’s top performer on Thursday, gaining 1.2% to close at 7,802.68..
The broader S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) advanced 0.5% to 2,827.31, with seven of 11 primary sectors finishing in positive territory. Tech shares were the best performers, rising 1.5% as a sector.
Dow industrials pulled into positive territory in the final hour before paring gains to settle flat at 25,329.64.
Shares of Apple Inc. rose 3% on Thursday to $207.63, bringing the iPhone maker’s total market capitalization above $1 trillion. That’s the first time a publicly-listed U.S. company has crossed that critical milestone.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index (NYSEARCA:VXX) declined sharply on Thursday, eroding the previous two sessions’ gains. The so-called “fear index” fell more than 6% to 12.24, on a scale of 1-100 where 20 represents the historical average.
In economic data, U.S. initial jobless claims were little changed last week, offering further evidence of a strengthening labor market. The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits edged up 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 218,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
In a separate report, the Department of Commerce said factory orders rose 0.7% in June following a 0.4% uptick the month before.
The Final Word: Tech shares are making a strong comeback at the start of August, alleviating the risk of a larger pullback in the major indexes. At the end of last month, roughly 40% of S&P 500 companies had entered into correction.