Among the S&P 500 sectors, consumer discretionary and technology posted strong gains. Qualcomm shares rallied after the processor maker projected better-than-expected earnings and sales for its current quarter thanks to growing demand for chips used in phones, cars and other devices that connect to the Internet.
Data showed that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a new 19-month low last week, suggesting that the economy is picking up momentum. The report will be followed by a more comprehensive nonfarm payroll report on Friday.
Earlier, the pan-European STOXX 600 index gained 0.4% and remained at record highs, while in Asia, the Japanese Nikkei climbed 0.9% and hit one-month highs, while MSCI’s broader Asia-Pacific equity index excluding Japan gained 0.4%.
In the foreign exchange markets, the dollar index moved to 94,327 from a low of 93.80 shortly after the Fed’s announcement on Wednesday.
Oil prices plummeted on Thursday, reversing gains from the start of a volatile session, after Saudi production was reported to soon surpass 10 million barrels a day for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.
The Saudi television network Al Arabiya’s report came after the nation, along with other partners in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, agreed to maintain previously agreed production increases.
Brent fell 1.8% to $ 80.54. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate lost 2.5% to $ 78.81 a barrel. In raw materials, spot gold added 1.3%, at $ 1,792.06 an ounce.