The New York Stock Exchange was up slightly after the opening Thursday after unemployment figures reflecting the severe economic impact of the pandemic but suggesting that the situation could start to improve.
Around 2:10 p.m. GMT, its flagship index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose 0.42% to 25,655.85 points.
The Nasdaq, with a strong technological coloring, glistened 0.28% to 9,439.06 points after having started in the red.
The S&P 500, which represents the 500 largest companies on Wall Street, gained 0.41% to 3,048.51 points.
Wall Street had progressed significantly on Wednesday, driven as it had been since the beginning of the week by the hope of a gradual resumption of activity without major hiccups as the restrictions imposed to stem the Covid-19 pandemic were lifted : the Dow Jones had gained 2.21% and the Nasdaq 0.77%.
But investor enthusiasm cooled slightly on Thursday after the release of new job market statistics.
Just over 2.12 million people were unemployed again for the first time in the past week, and in total more than 41 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in two months.
But the total number of unemployed workers receiving unemployment benefits in the United States also fell during the week of May 10 to 16 for the first time since the start of the crisis, with just over 21 million people receiving unemployment benefits compared to 24 .9 million the previous week.
“This downturn may reflect the return of some people to work as states begin to reopen their economies,” said Christopher Low, an economist at FHN Financial.
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Orders for durable goods, for their part, fell 17.2% in April, recording a second straight month of sharp decline as a result of the cessation of activity linked to containment measures. But this figure is a little less bad than expected by analysts.
The promises of home sales in the United States for their part fell by 21.8% in April over a month, a drop much greater than the decline of 4.8% expected by analysts.
Tensions between China and the United States also remained on the radar of investors to the extent that they could once again severely disrupt trade relations between the two leading world economic powers.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the United States’ decision to revoke the special status granted to Hong Kong on Wednesday because of the erosion of freedoms in the former British colony was “barbaric”.
The diplomats of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia for their part accused Beijing on Thursday of violating its international obligations after the adoption by the Chinese Parliament of a controversial provision on the security in Hong Kong in response to protests last year.
Twitter fell 2.41% as US President Donald Trump, singled out by the group for “misleading” messages, must sign a decree on Thursday that, according to the American press, should make social networks responsible for content posted by the users.
Facebook lost 0.46%.
Abercrombie & Fitch clothing chain fell 7.20% after reporting disappointing first quarter results, including 34% decline in sales.
The American Airlines, which announced the reduction of 30% of the jobs of executives and also envisages a reduction of the aerofoil in the ranks of the pilots and the cabin crew, lost 3.50%.
On the bond market, the 10-year rate on the American debt rose a little, moving to 0.6884% against 0.6819% Wednesday evening.