The tech-heavy Nasdaq index hit a fresh record at the open on Thursday after strong results from Facebook and Microsoft, while a slump in industrial conglomerate 3M weighed on the Dow and limited gains on the S&P.
Some Federal Reserve policy makers seem resigned to running a heightened risk of asset bubbles and other financial excesses as they seek to keep the economic expansion going.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest level in nearly half a century. The Labor Department says claims for jobless aid fell by 5,000 last week to 192,000, lowest since September 1969. The four-week average, which is less volatile, dropped by 6,000 to 201,250, lowest since November 1969.