Shopping malls and restaurants are seeing an increase in foot traffic as the COVID-19 restrictions are lifting and more vaccines are distributed. FOX Business' Lydia Hu with more.
Wall Street notched more milestones, as a broad market rally pushed the S&P 500 to an all-time high and the Dow crossed the 34,000 mark.
Traders will have more earnings reports and economic data to study on the final trading day of the week.
The financial sector will wrap with results from Morgan Stanley, PNC Financial Services, Bank of New York Mellon and State Street.
The Commerce Department is expected to say that the number of new homes being built in March rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.613 million, up 13.5% from February. Permits for future construction are anticipated to edge up 1.7% to 1.75 million.
US HOUSING MARKET IS NEARLY 4M HOMES SHORT OF BUYER DEMAND
The University of Michigan will report its preliminary index of consumer sentiment for April. The Refinitiv estimate is 89.6, almost five points above March’s final reading of 84.9, which was the highest since March of last year.
In Europe, London's FTSE added 0.7%, Germany's DAX gained 0.9% and France's CAC rose 0.4%.
In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.6% and China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.8%.
576,000 AMERICANS FILE FIRST-TIME JOBLESS CLAIMS
Another report gave an encouraging read on the job market, showing 576,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week. That’s well below the 700,000 that economists had forecast and down from 769,000 the prior week. It's also the lowest number since the pandemic.
Adding to the optimism, more big U.S. companies reported even healthier profits for the first three months of 2021 than analysts had forecast. Expectations are already high for this earnings reporting season, which unofficially got underway on Wednesday and could result in the strongest growth in more than a decade.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude added 4 cents to $63.50 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 8 cents to $67.02 a barrel.