Wall Street stocks shrugged off weak US labor data Thursday, while European equities were pressured by worries over spiking coronavirus cases in several countries.
The Labor Department reported a worse-than-expected 1.1 million new claims for unemployment benefits, a jump from the prior week that underscored the continued weakness of the US economy.
But Wall Street pushed higher anyway, led by large technology companies that have benefited during the coronavirus, which has kept consumers at home and boosted e-commerce and streaming services.
Led by Apple, Facebook and other giants, the tech-rich Nasdaq rocketed to yet another record and was joined in positive territory by the Dow and S&P 500, which won more modest gains.
Earlier, bourses in Paris, London and Frankfurt all fell more than one percent.
A note from Charles Schwab said recent upticks in new COVID-19 cases in European countries are "continuing to drag on sentiment."
While Italy registered 845 new cases on Thursday, its highest daily tally since May, France reported 4,700 fresh infections -- a massive increase on the previous day. While Spain's daily increases topped even those of France, Germany was examining its own resurgence.
Despite the rise in cases, a top World Health Organization official said additional lockdowns should not be necessary.
"With the basic nationwide and additional targeted measures, we are in a much better position to stamp out these localized virus flare-ups," the head of the WHO's European branch, Hans Kluge, told reporters.
"We can manage the virus and keep the economy running and an education system in operation," he added.
Among individual companies, ride-hailing companies Uber Technologies and Lyft surged 6.8 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, after a California appeals court gave them a reprieve from being required to reclassify drivers as employees in their home state of California.
Shortly before the appeals court decision, Lyft said it would suspend its rideshare service in the state rather than treat drivers as employees entitled to benefits.
American Airlines dropped 1.4 percent as it announced it will eliminate service to 15 smaller US markets as cash-strapped carriers downsize their operations to cope with the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
- Key figures around 2045 GMT -
New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 27,739.73 (close)
New York - S&P 500: UP 0.3 percent at 3,385.51 (close)
New York - Nasdaq: UP 1.1 percent at 11,264.95 (close)
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 1.6 percent at 6,013.34 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX 30: DOWN 1.1 percent at 12,830.00 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 1.3 percent at 4,911.24 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 1.3 percent at 3,273.98 (close)
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 1.0 percent at 22,880.62 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 1.5 percent at 24,791.39 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.3 percent at 3.363.90 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1860 from $1.1838 at 2100 GMT
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 105.78 yen from 106.12 yen
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3215 from $1.3098
Euro/pound: DOWN at 89.74 pence from 90.38 pence
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.8 percent at $42.58 per barrel
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 1.0 percent at $44.90 per barrel