Tue, 18 May 2021

NEW YORK, New York - Strong economic data propelled already-high U.S. stocks to even greater dizzying levels on Thursday.

The Dow Jones industrials and the Standard and Poor's 500 both closed at new record highs. The Nasdaq on the day did even better rising by more than both other indices.

The highest retail sales in 10 months, were registered in March, the Commerce Department reported, while jobless claims last week fell to their lowest level in more than a year.

"Demand is booming right now. Fed officials up to now have said they expect this boost in demand to be fleeting, and will not consider changes in policy until the labor market is at full employment and price levels increase at a sustained pace," Chris Low, Chief Economist at FHN Financial in New York told Reuters Thomson Thursday.

"Their resolve will be tested in the next couple of months."

The Dow Jones jumped 305.10 points or 0.90 percent to 34,035.99.

The Standard and Poor's 500 added 45.76 points or 1.11 percent to 4,170.42.

The Nasdaq Composite climbed 180.92 points or 1.31 percent to 14,038.76.

The U.S. dollar remained out of favor. The euro was hanging on to recent gains, holding steady at 1.1973 around the New York close Thursday. The British pound traded in a tight range around 1.3785. The Japanese yen edged higher to 108.68. The Swiss franc firmed to 0.9215.

The commodity currencies remain strong, albeit a tad lower than their Asian close. The Canadian dollar was fetching 1.2534, the Australian dollar 0.7756, and the New Zealand dollar 0.7177.

Overseas, the German Dax rose 0.30 percent. In Paris, the CAC 40 climbed 0.41 percent. London's FTSE 100 strengthened by 0.63 percent.

On Asian markets, China's Shanghai Composite dropped 17.73 points or 0.52 percent to 3,398.99.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng declined 143.15 points or 0.50 percent to 28,757.68.

The Australian All Ordinaries index finished ahead 36.90 points or 0.51 percent to 7,317.50.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 21.70 points or 0.07 percent to 29,642.69.

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