US tech stocks end at fresh record despite higher jobless claims

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The Nasdaq rocketed to another fresh record Thursday behind gains from Apple and other tech giants as US stocks shrugged off weak employment data.

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index finished up 1.1 percent at 11,264.95. The index has closed at records more than 30 times in 2020.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.2 percent to 27,739.73, while the broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.3 percent to 3,385.51.

Apple climbed 2.2 percent a day after becoming the first US company to hit $2 trillion in market value.

Fellow tech giants Amazon, Facebook and Netflix all won at least one percent, reflecting the industry's continued strength amid the coronavirus, which has kept consumers at home and boosted e-commerce and streaming services.

But disappointing labor data underscored the continued weakness of the US economy. New claims for jobless benefits rose to 1.1 million last week, a weaker-than-expected result for a closely-watched benchmark in the wake of coronavirus shutdowns.

The report came after Federal Reserve minutes released on Wednesday said more fiscal aid was needed as the coronavirus pandemic rages on.

Among individual companies, Estee Lauder fell 6.6 percent as it announced it would cut up to 2,000 jobs in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The cosmetics giant reported a $462 million loss in the quarter ending June 30.

Ride-haling companies Uber Technologies and Lyft surged 6.8 percent and 5.8 percent after a California appeals court gave the companies 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 California rather than classify drivers as employees entitled to benefits.

Dow member Intel rose 1.7 percent after saying it reached accelerated share repurchase agreements to buy back $10 billion of the company’s stock.

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.

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