US open: Dow Jones up more than 500 points as major indices stage early turnaround
As of 1530 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.53% at 34,100.27, while the S&P 500 was 1.45% firmer at 4,122.11 and the Nasdaq Composite started out the session 1.48% stronger at 13,224.13.
The Dow opened 512.61 points higher on Thursday, shrugging off losses recorded on Wednesday that came as major indices fell on higher-than-expected inflation data.
However, despite the solid fight back at the opening bell, with US markets now up for the first time in four days, both the Dow Jones and S&P 500 are still expected to finish with historic low weeks.
Thursday's main focus was this week's jobless report from the Department of Labor, which fell yet again in the week ended 8 May, slipping from January's peak of about 900,000 to the lowest level for initial claims since 14 March 2020 when it was 256,000. Continuing claims came in at 3.65m, down from an upwardly revised figure of 3.7m.
Also in focus, April's producer price index rose 0.6% month-on-month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicating that firms had paid higher prices to producers last month, another sign of inflation in an economy rapidly recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic. Year-on-year, the PPI was up a massive 6.2%, the largest increase since tracking began in 2010.
Bitcoin crashed 9% after Tesla chief executive Elon Musk stated the electric carmaker would no longer accept the cryptocurrency for vehicle purchases, citing concerns about the "rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions". Coinbase shares also dropped 2% following the comments.