U.S. markets went on a roller-coaster ride Thursday that finished with stocks broadly ahead following a positive report on unemployment but concerns about Friday’s job market report.
The Department of Labor report showed initial claims for unemployment benefits totaled 346,000 in the week ended June 1, down 11,000 from the previous week. Year-to-date unemployment claims are running at their lowest levels since 2008.
However, investors remain concerned Friday’s jobs report will come in lower than expected, putting the Fed’s subsequent QE “tapering” moves in further limbo.
The S&P 500 rallied ahead 0.85% to close at 1622.56, while the Nasdaq improved by 0.66% to finish at 3424.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.53% to end at 15040.62, avoiding its first three-day losing streak since President Barack Obama’s re-election.
On the corporate news side, Sodastream (SODA) shares bumped up 2% amid speculation that PepsiCo (PEP) might be trying to buy the soda-maker for up to $2 billion, or $95 per share. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi denied this, however, telling CNBC the rumors were untrue.
Shares of L Brands (LTD) — the parent of Victoria’s Secret and other apparel brands that formerly was known as The Limited – announced same store sales rose 3% in May, slightly below forecasts, and shares fell just under 2% on the news.
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Finally, China-based online retailer LightInTheBox (LITB) soared nearly 23% in its U.S. stock market debut. LITB raised $79 million through an IPO priced in the middle of its estimated range.
- Orchard Supply (OSH): Up 24.5% (58 cents) to $2.95.
- Acadia Pharmaceutical (ACAD): Up 12.6% ($1.86) to $16.57.
- James River Coal (JRCC): Up 7.5% (20 cents) to $2.86.
- Vera Bradley (VRA): Down 7.8% ($1.76) to $20.70.
- Endologix (ELGX): Down 3.9% (51 cents) to $12.60.
- Netflix (NFLX): Down 2.6% ($5.72) to $217.74.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.