U.S. stocks traded higher Thursday, Dec. 7, with large-cap tech stocks again leading a rebound for the Nasdaq, and General Electric Co. (GE) powering the Dow Jones Industrial Average to strong gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.29%, as General Electric, up 0.3%, was one of the biggest gainers on the index. Boeing Co. (BA) rose 1.3%, and Nike Inc. (NKE) gained 1.4%. The S&P 500 also gained 0.29%.
General Electric shares rose after the company said it will axe more than 2,000 jobs in Europe as part of a worldwide reduction in its workforce that could reach 12,000 in an effort to cut costs by around $3.5 billion over the next two years.
Weekly U.S. jobless claims in the U.S. fell 2,000 to a five-week low of 236,000, although the dollar index, which benchmarks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, held at a near two-week high of 93.67 following the data release.
Gold stocks were slightly higher as Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) rose 0.48% and Harmony Gold Mining Co. (HMY) gained 0.60% after bullion prices slumped to a four-month low Thursday amid a global pullback in commodities and metals prices and the continued rise in digital currencies driven by investors seeking alternatives to the bullion's traditional "store of value" play.
Gold fell 0.8% to $1,256,20 an ounce, extending its three-month decline to around 7.5%. The moves mirror recent price declines in global industrial metals, including copper, which hit a three-month low of $6,057 per ton Wednesday, and platinum, which touched a five-month low of $895.74 an ounce amid speculation of reduced demand from China.
Bitcoin surged near $16,000 on the bitsmap exchange, taking the digital currency's year-to-date gain past 1,400% as two of the biggest exchanges in the word -- CBOE Global Markets Inc. and its rival CME Group -- prepare to launch cryptocurrency futures contracts in the coming weeks.
Commodity prices have been notably active over the past week, with copper sinking to a four-month low before rebounding around 0.15% in the Asia session and global oil prices tumbling more than 3% Wednesday to a two-month low after data showed U.S. production rates rose to an all-time high of 9.71 million barrels per day in the week ended Dec. 1.
West Texas Intermediate crude contracts for February added 1.3% to $56.69 a barrel, although gains were held down by both the surging U.S. production rates published by the Energy Information Administration Wednesday and figures that showed gasoline stocks rose a much larger-than-expected 6.8 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 1.
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