US stocks gained on Thursday as hopes for a massive stimulus bill from the Biden administration offset a surge in weekly jobless claims.
Jobless claims surged to 965,000 for the week that ended on Saturday, representing the biggest surge since March and the highest level since August. Economists had expected 800,000 jobless claims for the week.
But traders appear more focused on a multitrillion-dollar stimulus bill floated by President-elect Joe Biden.
Here’s where US indexes stood after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday:
Two Democratic aides familiar with the discussions told Insider that Senate Democrats were weighing whether to combine infrastructure spending and coronavirus relief legislation into one bill that wouldn’t require Republican votes to pass. The discussions reflect Democrats’ desire to swiftly capitalize on their majorities in the House and the Senate following the runoff elections in Georgia.