NEW YORK: The Dow Jones Industrials hit a record high on Thursday, as economically sensitive stocks rose after an upbeat weekly jobless claims report, while vaccine makers fell as President Joe Biden backed plans to waive patents on COVID-19 shots.
Cyclical sectors including the S&P 500 financials and industrials rose after a Labour Department report showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits totalled a seasonally adjusted 498,000 for the week ended May 1 compared to 590,000 in the prior week.
Shares in Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc, all involved in the making of COVID-19 vaccines, fell between 0.2% and 1.7%.
The S&P 500 healthcare sector slipped 0.8%, while the Nasdaq biotechnology index dropped 1.2%.
Corp, Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc and Amazon.com Inc were trading mixed.
At 12:16 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 156.12 points, or 0.46%, at 34,386.46, the S&P 500 was up 10.64 points, or 0.26%, at 4,178.23 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 17.06 points, or 0.13%, at 13,565.37.