US stocks edge higher; jobless claims rise, Apple gains — Telegram FX Signals – U.S. stocks edged higher Thursday, with traders consolidating as a strong year on Wall Street draws to a close.

Who are the Top 5 Forex Signal Providers Online?By 09:35 ET (14:35 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 55 points, or 0.1%, the S&P 500 traded 7 points, or 0.2%, higher and NASDAQ Composite climbed 30 points, or 0.2%.

The three main indices had another positive session on Wednesday, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining over 110 points, or 0.3%, the broad-based S&P 500 index rising 0.1% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbing 0.2%.

The averages are all on track to notch their ninth straight winning weeks, in what has been an impressive late rally.

The DJIA and S&P 500 are poised to end 2023 higher by 13% and 24%, respectively, with the latter within 0.5% of its highest closing level, which was set in January 2022. The Nasdaq Composite has jumped an impressive 44%, boosted by a rebound by the mega-cap tech names.

Jobless claims rose last week
These gains have been driven by raised expectations that the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates early in 2024.

Markets are pricing in a 88% chance of a Fed cut in March 2024, according to CME FedWatch tool, while futures imply more than 150 basis points of easing next year.

Data released earlier Thursday showed that the number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits rose last week by 12,000 to 218,000, indicating the labor market continues to cool in the year’s fourth quarter.

Apple gets legal reprieve
In the corporate sector, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock rose 0.7% after a U.S. appeals court paused a government commission’s import ban on the sales of the tech giant’s flagship smartwatches following a patent dispute with Masimo (NASDAQ:MASI) over its medical monitoring technology.

Oil prices fall on signs of growing U.S. stockpiles
Oil prices fell Thursday following further evidence of growing U.S. crude stockpiles, while traders continued to digest continued tensions in the Red Sea and supply disruptions through this important region.

By 09:35 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 1.2% lower at $73.19 a barrel, while the Brent contract dropped 1.3% to $78.51 per barrel.

Prices dropped nearly 2% on Wednesday as major shipping firms began returning to the Red Sea, however disruptions still remain over fears of further attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia on ships in the region.

Germany’s Hapag Lloyd said on Wednesday it still believes the Red Sea is too dangerous and will continue to send ships around the Cape of Good Hope.

Away from the Middle East, data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group on Wednesday showed U.S. crude stocks rose 1.84 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 22.

Official numbers from the Energy Information Administration are due later Thursday, after having risen by 2.9 million barrels the prior week as U.S. crude output rose to a record 13.3 million barrels per day.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.4% to $2,084.45/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1092.

US stocks edge higher; jobless claims rise, Apple gains

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US stocks edge higher; jobless claims rise, Apple gains