US indices open strong fueled by Fed minutes, low jobless figures

Initial jobless claims dive below 300,000 for first time since early days of coronavirus pandemic

Ovunc Kutlu   | 14.10.2021
US indices open strong fueled by Fed minutes, low jobless figures


Major US stock market indices opened higher Thursday, fueled by minutes of a Federal Reserve meeting and low jobless claims.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed higher Wednesday to end a three-day losing streak after minutes were revealed from the Fed’s Sept. 21-22 meeting.

Although the minutes showed the central bank could start tapering -- the process of reducing its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases -- as early as mid-November, the Fed left the door open to begin tapering in mid-December, which would provide markets an additional month of liquidity.

Initial jobless claims in the US fell to 293,000 last week, marking the first time that figure was below 300,000 since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic on March 14, 2020, according to the Labor Department.

The news pushed the blue-chip Dow Jones up 374 points, or 1.1%, to 34,751 at 9.46 a.m. EDT, while the S&P 500 rose 47, or 1.08%, to 4,410.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq jumped 175 points, or 1.2%, to 14,746.

Rising risk appetite created downward pressure on the VIX volatility index, as the fear index plummeted 6.6% to 17.40.

The dollar index declined 0.14% to 93.95, while the yield on 10-year US Treasury notes decreased 0.78% to 1.537%.

But crude prices were on the rise again. International benchmark Brent crude was at $83.75 with a 0.7% gain and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $80.83 -- a 0.5% increase.

Precious metals continued to increase with gold adding 0.14% to $1,795 per ounce and silver increasing 0.8% to $23.28.

Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market cap, rose 4.8% to $57,370.

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