US equities rose on Thursday posting gains after a disappointing month following comments from President Donald Trump indicated potential progress in U.S.-China trade relations. Trade sensitive stocks Boeing and Caterpillar rose 2.3 percent and 2.8 percent respectively. The Dow rose 1.06%, the S&P 500 rose 1.06% and the Nasdaq rose 1.75%.
Positive earnings from chemical company DowDuPont sent the stock higher by 8.07 percent and being the best performer on the Dow, followed by Intel shares rising 2.9 percent. Of the decliners, Verizon shares fell 1.18 percent. The iShares Semiconductor ETF (SOXX) rose 4.69 percent after positive earnings from stocks within the sector. NXP Semiconductors rose 12.13 percent sending the bigger names in the market higher with the likes of Lam Research 7.15 percent higher, Applied Materials shares rose 7.51 percent and Micron Technology shares rose 6.36 percent.
In after-hours trading, Apple reported earnings that beat on both top and bottom lines however offered light guidance and announced changes to its reporting structure. For the session shares rose 1.54 percent and currently are down 7 percent. Starbucks also reported after market close beating o revenue and earnings estimates sending the stock higher by 9 percent. Same store growth also beat expectations rising by 3 percent compared to the 2.3 percent estimate. Of the decliners, Kraft Heinz shares fell 9 percent after-market on a mixed earnings report whilst Weight Watchers share plunged more than 13 percent after the final bell.
Economic data released overnight showed initial US weekly jobless claims fell to 214,000 last week while continuing claims remained at their lowest levels since 1973. The data come ahead of the monthly jobs report, which is set for release Friday morning.
In currency markets, the British pound jumped to a high of 1.30345 against the U.S dollar following a report that UK Prime Minister Theresa May has struck a deal with Brussels on financial services. The dollar index fell to 96.08 and the Australian dollar rose to 0.7212 following a weaker US dollar and better than expected trade balance data released yesterday.
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