The Nasdaq hit another record Thursday, its third for the week, as investors bet the labor market recovery is on track ahead of the release of Friday's key employment report.
New jobless claims dropped to 340,000, that's a fresh low not seen since March 2020 when the health crisis prompted widespread job loss. Separately, a broader survey of layoff announcements hit a 24-year low in August.
Markets reacted favorably with the Dow up 131 points The S&P 500 climbed 12 to finish at a new closing high. The Nasdaq jumped 21 to a new record.
Victoria Fernandez is chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investments.
"Well, I think the the market is looking at the jobs report that's coming out Friday morning. They anticipate that things are going to be well, that we're going to continue to see job growth. We have a strong consumer that has a good household balance sheet right now. And so they're continuing to just trend a little bit higher. And that's what we're seeing in the markets today. A little bit of optimism that we will continue in this recovery."
In corporate headlines:
Apple will let some apps like Netflix provide website links for payment, in a small concession that would allow app developers to bypass the controversial 30 percent App Store fee charged by Apple. The global change will go into effect next year. The concession was part of a settlement with Japan's anti-trust regulators. Some companies said Apple's move was not good enough. Shares of Apple finished higher. Netflix hit a fresh lifetime high. Spotify, which has an antitrust lawsuit against Apple, jumped roughly 6-1/2 percent.