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S&P 500 notches another record close this week, big tech gets a boost

4:10pm: Fed Chair Powell says there’s more room for the economy to recover The Dow held flat most of the afternoon, closing up 35 points, 0.1%, at 33,481. The Nasdaq gained 129 points, 0.9%, while the S&P 500 reached a record close again this week, adding 15 points, 0.4%, to 4,095. Speaking Thursday at an IMF event moderated by CNBC’s Sara Eisen, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that there remains room for more economic recovery as what’s occured so far hasn’t been well rounded, according to CNBC. 12:20pm: Tech leading the way The Dow improved from an initial triple digit hole to a 15 point gain to 33,461 at midday. The Nasdaq Composite gained 136 points, 1%, to 13,824, and the S&P 500 added 16 points, 0.4%, to 4,096. Traders are reacting to an increase of weekly jobless claims to 744,000, which missed Street expectations. Big tech is having a strong day thus far. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) all gained more than 1%. 10am: Proactive North America headlines: Marble Financial Inc (CSE:MRBL) (OTCMKTS:MRBLF) (FSE:2V0) to offer its MyMarble personal finance SaaS platform to homebuyers in Canada Planet 13 Holdings Inc (CSE:PLTH) (OTCQX:PLNHF) starts major hiring initiative as Las Vegas tourism returns and California SuperStore opening nears Todos Medical Ltd (OTCQB:TOMDF) wins Notice of Allowance from European Patent Office for patent covering cancer diagnosis using TBIA Immune Profiling DGTL Holdings Inc (CVE:DGTL) (OTCQB:DGTHF) (FRA:A2QB0L) says Hashoff subsidiary has completed national public service campaign for front-line US health care workers BioSig Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:BSGM) sees its PURE EP System highlighted in new feature article in EP Lab Digest NexTech AR Solutions Corp (OTCQB:NEXCF) (NEO:NTAR.NE) (CSE:NTAR) (FRA:N29) closes $14M bought-deal financing for working capital Safe-T Group Ltd (NASDAQ:SFET) (TASE:SFET) says its ZoneZero solution added to NASA’s Solution for Enterprise-Wide Procurement contract vehicle CO2 GRO Inc (CVE:GROW) (OTCQB:BLONF) (FRA:4021) initiates a CO2 Delivery Solutions commercial feasibility for The Cucumber Man in Alberta First Cobalt Corp (CVE:FCC) (OTCQX:FTSSF) (FRA:18P) hires commodities industry executive to market its refined cobalt production to EV and battery manufacturers Empower Clinics Inc (CSE:CBDT) (FRA:8EC) (OTCQB:EPWCF) partners with top US digital marketer to launch direct-to-consumer e-commerce solutions The Valens Company Inc (TSX:VLNS) (OTCQX:VLNCF) (FRA:7LV) expands cannabis distribution network into Manitoba NetCents Technology Inc (CSE:NC) (FRA:26N) (OTCQB:NTTCF) says it processed a record $19M in cryptocurrency transactions in March Zinc8 Energy Solutions Inc (CSE:ZAIR) (OTCPINK:MGXRF) (FRA:0E9) announces the planned deployment of its Zinc-air Energy Storage System (ZESS) at the University at Buffalo Victory Resources Corporation (CSE:VR) (FRA:VR61) (OTCPINK:VRCFF)  begins drilling at Loner property Melkior Resources  Inc (CVE:MKR) (OTCMKTS:MKRIF) (FRA:MEK1) completes 1,449 metres in maiden drill program at Val D’Or Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp (CSE:CANN) (OTCQX:HERTF) (FRA:2UE) taps Merida Capital to accelerate its US product distribution initiative O3 Mining Inc (CVE:OIII) (OTCQX:OIIIF) appoints communications expert Mélissa Desrochers to its board of directors Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc (CSE:AGN) (OTCQB:AGNPF) (FRA:AGW) plans meeting with the US FDA to prepare for upcoming Phase 3 Ifenprodil coronavirus trial BetterLife Pharma Inc (CSE:BETR) (OTCQB:BETRF) (FRA:NPAU) adds former FDA Psychiatry Division director as regulatory advisor AgraFlora Organics International Inc (CSE:AGRA) (OTCMKTS:AGFAF) (FRA:PU31) CEO says recent asset sales give ‘us the financial flexibility’ to enter lucrative markets Idaho Champion Gold Mines Canada Inc (CSE:ITKO) (OTCQB:GLDRF) (FRA:1QB1) reports elevated gold, silver, and base metals values from sampling at Champagne project 9.40am; Wall Street starts mainly higher The main indices on Wall Street have made a mixed but mostly positive start to Thursday’s session despite a higher than expected rise in US jobless claims. Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.07% at 33,422 while the S&P 500 rose 0.32% to 4,093 and the Nasdaq climbed 0.92% to 13,815. Sentiment may have wobbled a little following data that showed 744,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, up from the previous week’s figure of 728,000 and higher than analysts had predicted. Despite the increase, analysts said the figure may be attributed to backlogs in filing past claims and that the trend was still pointing downwards, with Pantheon Macroeconomics expecting “a sustained sharp decline in the second quarter” as the US economy began to reopen. 8:00am: Wall Street expected to start mostly higher Wall Street futures are pointing to a mostly positive start for US markets on Thursday morning. The Nasdaq Composite is forecast to open 0.89% higher, the S&P 500 up 0.34% but the Dow virtually flat. On Wednesday the Dow and S&P were positive, the Nasdaq marginally negative. Sophie Griffiths market analyst at OANDA said: “Looking ahead, US futures are pointing to a mildly upbeat start, heading towards fresh record highs as the Fed sticks to stimulus. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is set to outperform its peers, boosted by a fall in US treasury yields and the prospect of ultra-low interest rates for longer. We continue to see further signs the rotation trade out of growth and into value has run out of steam for now.” Later come US weekly jobless claims. Griffiths said: “The US labour market has been in focus over the past week following blowout non-farm payroll figures and better than expected JOLTS job openings. Initial jobless claims are expected to show 68,000 in the week ending 2 April, down from 719,000. A strong report could boost optimism surrounding US economic recovery and lift the greenback out of the red.” That would be interesting in the light of the doveish comments from the US Federal Reserve, which continues to believe it is necessary to keep the monetary taps flowing to support the US economy despite the signs of recovery and worries about inflation. Three things to watch for on Thursday: Companies reporting earnings today include Corona beer owner Constellation Brands Inc (NYSE:STZ), ready meals maker Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE:CAG) and jeans retailer Levi Strauss & Co (NYSE:LEVI) Bitcoin may draw some eyes after the tech billionaire co-founder of PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) warned the cryptocurrency could be used as a “financial weapon” by China against the US dollar Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) could also hold investor attention as the ecommerce firm awaits the result of a closely-watched vote by workers at its warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, to form a union

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