U.S. stocks climb as debt-ceiling crisis averted

U.S. stocks rallied for third straight session on Thursday.

A deal in Congress that pushed the debt ceiling fight to December - averting a potential crisis now - was a major factor in the run-up.

The Dow jumped 337 points. The S&P 500 gained 36. The Nasdaq jumped 152.

Investors were also relieved by the biggest drop in new weekly unemployment applications in three months. Jobless claims fell for the first time in four weeks. And in a sign of further progress, the number of Americans receiving some sort of unemployment assistance dropped to an 18-month low in late September. Attention now turns to Friday’s monthly jobs data.

On the earnings front: Levi Strauss was a standout. People are buying jeans as they refresh their wardrobes in anticipation for a return to a somewhat normal social life. Shares of the apparel maker rallied roughly 8-1/2 percent.

This earnings season will be key in figuring out which companies are doing a better job at managing supply chain issues, says Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investments.

“You know, we heard from Nike a lot of issues with the supply chain in Vietnam. Levi Strauss has a different way to to do their supply chain. They only have less than four percent coming out of Vietnam, so they're not having the same issues. I think that's going to be very important to listen to as we go through earnings season and see which companies have been able to alter that supply chain enough to be able to keep up with the high level of demand, especially as we go into the holiday season.”

And in the latest vaccine developments: Pfizer and BioNTech have asked for emergency U.S. authorization for use of the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Shares of Pfizer climbed 1.7 percent. German partner BioNTech rose more than 4 percent.

There was mixed news for Moderna shareholders. Finland joined Sweden and Denmark in halting the use of Moderna's vaccine in young males after reports of a rare heart-related side effect. Moderna said it was aware of what it called the vary rare occurenrces of inflammation of the heart muscle. Shares, however, rallied more than two percent after Moderna announced a $500 million investment in Africa.

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