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Wall Street open higher in final session of third quarter

The Senate was expected to approve later Thursday a stopgap measure to fund the government and avert a shutdown. However Washington remains mired in partisan conflict over President Joe Biden's wider legislative agenda.

September 30, 2021 / 07:54 PM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

Wall Street stocks opened higher Thursday as investors weighed an uptick in jobless claims and the diminishing odds of a US government shutdown ahead of a congressional deadline.

New claims for US unemployment benefits rose for the third straight week in an apparent sign of the drag from the Delta variant of Covid-19, but the rate of increase was lower than the prior two weeks.

The Senate was expected to approve later Thursday a stopgap measure to fund the government and avert a shutdown. However Washington remains mired in partisan conflict over President Joe Biden's wider legislative agenda.

"We're in a choppy period," said Maris Ogg of Tower Bridge Advisors, who pointed to Washington uncertainty as a source of volatility.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2 percent at 34,451.81.

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The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to 4,380.29, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.8 percent to 14,632.23.

Among individual companies, Acceleron Pharma fell 0.3 percent after it announced an agreement to be acquired by Merck for $11.5 billion. Shares of Acceleron had risen earlier in the week following reports of the likely deal. Merck rose 1.4 percent.

Bed Bath & Beyond plunged 25 percent as the company reported disappointing quarterly results and cut its forecast, citing a "challenging environment" due to the Delta variant.

Thursday marks the conclusion of the third quarter of trading following a rocky September for indices. Nonetheless, the S&P 500 is currently up almost two percent for the period.
AFP

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