Wall Street closes high but with timid rises

Wall Street's shares rose on Thursday, but moved within narrow bounds, with investors awaiting a new fiscal stimulus package to boost the country's economy.

The Nasdaq index reached a new record at the start of the session, surpassing the 11 point mark for the second consecutive day. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones were calmer but negotiating on positive ground. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 185,46 points, or 0,68%, to 27.386,98 points; the S&P 500 gained 21,39 points, or 0,64%, to 3.349,16 points; and the Nasdaq Composite added 109,67 points, or 1%, to 11.108,07 points.

The small rise in the markets is a reflection of the economic data released this Thursday, which assume a mixed picture between numbers less bad than expected and others that raise some hope for the recovery of the economy. The Department of Labor figures showed a first drop in claims for unemployment assistance since three weeks ago, although a separate report shows a 54% increase in job cuts announced by employers in July. Unemployment benefit applications fell 249 to 1,186 million, said the Department of Labor, the lowest increase since mid-March.

On the other hand, investors are waiting to hear about the next fiscal aid package to combat the consequences of the pandemic, paying attention to the fact that Senate majority leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, said that Republicans and Democrats remain distant on what to include in this package.

"The stimulus package will clearly help economic sentiment and boost the economy in the short term," said Terry Sandven, market manager at US Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis, quoted by Reuters. “Ultimately, we need to see the economy start to improve and growth rates to start to accelerate,” he added, so that the furniture market can also start to recover with sustainability.

"There are mixed signs that the economy is recovering and some of the signs of recovery are relatively superficial, as they show aggregate numbers and not how medium and small businesses continue to suffer," said Jeffrey Christian, manager of the CPM Group, cited by the same agency.

The focus for tomorrow is now on the July jobs report, with analysts forecasting an increase of 1,58 million new jobs last month and a decline in the unemployment rate to 10,5%. If these data are confirmed, it is more than certain that the closing of the week will be quite positive for the markets beyond the Atlantic.

On the other hand, the price of gold continued its race for the records, driven by expectations of new stimuli, while the dollar appreciated after data released showing that less Americans are asking for unemployment benefits. Gold has risen on concerns that stimuli will fuel inflation and erode the dollar's value.

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