NEW YORK: US stocks climbed at the open Thursday, as data indicating an improving labor market and supply chain situation fortified traders worried about the economy's health. Despite a raft of positive corporate earnings reports, Wall Street struggled on Wednesday amid concerns about the impact of the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19 on the recovery, and about data showing US growth may have peaked.
Before markets opened, government data showed new applications for unemployment benefits fell again last week, while the trade balance figures contained hints of an end to supply chain snarls that have driven up prices.
About 20 minutes into trading, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5 percent to 34,948.92, while the broad-based S&P 500 climbed 0.3 percent to 4,417.02.
The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index also gained 0.3 percent to 14,830.20.
Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com said investors also seemed to have come to terms with the threat posed by the Delta variant, deciding it was not a game changer for the economy, at least not right now.
"The stock market's overall behavior doesn't connote undue concern about the impact of the Delta variant," he said in an analysis. "There is a recognition that it could slow growth some, but there isn't a fear that it will trigger a recession."
Among individual companies, Uber rose 1.9 percent after announcing a second-quarter profit fueled by one-time gains and saying its ride-hailing business was showing signs of recovery.
Stock trading platform Robinhood Markets dropped 13.3 percent after surging more than 50 percent on Wednesday as investors organized on Reddit banded together to push up its price.