Stock gains accelerated by midday Thursday as jobless claims are slowing and vaccine optimism rises.
All three major U.S. indices rose, with the S&P 500 up as much as 0.95%, better than the morning’s gains of just 0.4%. The 10-Year Treasury yield rose to 0.7%. Yields rise when prices fall.
The S&P 500 is now down just 6% year-to-date and down 9% from its all-time-high, suggesting the market is pricing in a fast economic recovery.
And jobless claims did slow down this past week, coming in at 2.1 million. At the start of the lockdown, claims were at 6 million and have steadily fallen.
But investors are also hopeful about the possibility of a coronavirus vaccine getting to market soon. Thursday, Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Roche said they are partnering to produce a combined vaccine. Gilead shares rose 0.7%, while Roche rose 2.7%.
Elsewhere, Dollar Tree (DLTR) shares rose 11%, the biggest S&P 500 gainer on the day. The discount store beat revenue and earnings estimates handily, boasting 15% same-store-sales growth at the previously struggling Family Dollar, giving investors confidence in the business. This may also underscore the strength of the discount retail business during times of economic stress.