S&P 500 rebounds on tech boost; weekly jobless claims rise



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Weekly jobless claims rise in line with estimates

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Moderna up as FDA authorizes updated COVID boosters

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Indexes up: Dow 0.67%, S&P 0.77%, Nasdaq 1.17%

By Ankika Biswas and Johann M Cherian

Dec 8 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 index gained ground on Thursday, boosted by technology shares, while a rise in weekly jobless claims suggested the labor market was slowing down.

Wall Street's main indexes have come under pressure in recent days, with the benchmark .SPX shedding 3.6% in the past five sessions on expectations of a longer rate-hike cycle and downbeat views on the economy from some top company executives.

However, investors drew some comfort on Thursday after data

showed

the number of Americans filing claims for jobless benefits increased moderately last week, while unemployment rolls hit a 10-month high toward the end of November.

The report follows data last Friday that showed U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in November and increased wages, spurring fears that the Fed might stick to its aggressive stance as it attempts to tame decades-high inflation.

"Markets are looking like they've got a little window here for a relief rally before next week's CPI data, since we were oversold here," said Dennis Dick, a market structure analyst and trader at Triple D Trading.

"You're just starting to see a few people coming in buying the dip."

The producer price index and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey on Friday and November's consumer price data next week will also be in focus ahead of Fed's policy decision on Dec. 14.

Investors see a 93% chance that the U.S. central bank will hike the key benchmark rate by 50 basis points to 4.25-4.50%, with the rates peaking in May 2023 at 4.92%. FEDWATCH

The U.S. central bank has raised its policy rate by 375 basis points this year in the fastest hikes since the 1980s.

This aggressive approach has stoked worries of a recession, with top executives of major U.S. financial institutions including JPMorgan, BlackRock and Citi forecasting a likely economic downturn in 2023.

Adding to the fears, the yield curve between the 2-year US2YT=RR and 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR has also widened in the recent days.

At 11:53 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 223.74 points, or 0.67%, at 33,821.66, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 30.32 points, or 0.77%, at 3,964.24, and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 127.83 points, or 1.17%, at 11,086.38.

Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes rose, led by 1.6% gain in technology stocks .SPLRCT .

Energy stocks .SPNY rose 0.2% as oil prices climbed following the easing of anti-COVID measures in China and delay in some tankers carrying Russian oil.

Most mega-cap technology and growth stocks such as Apple Inc AAPL.O , Nvidia Corp NVDA.O and Amazon.com AMZN.O rose between 1.3% and 4%.

Moderna Inc MRNA.O soared 4% after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized COVID-19 shots from the vaccine maker that target both the original coronavirus and Omicron sub-variants for use in children as young as six months of age

Rent the Runway Inc RENT.O jumped 52.6% after the clothing rental firm raised its 2022 revenue forecast

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.36-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.91-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 13 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 60 new highs and 165 new lows.
Reporting by Shubham Batra, Ankika Biswas, Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi, Sriraj Kalluvila and Anil D'Silva

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