U.S. stocks closed modestly higher, as investors mulled over former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony which overshadowed data showing that initial jobless claims fell less than expected.
U.S. stocks advanced, as the Dow Jones industrial average hit an intraday high, on the back of former FBI chief James Comey’s public testimony, which offered little to spark fears of a potential increase in U.S. political turmoil.
Mr. Comey told the Senate Committee that President Donald Trump was not directly under investigation at the time he was fired but accused the Trump administration of choosing to defame him and the FBI by “claiming the agency was poorly led.”
Ahead of the testimony, investors feared that Comey’s testimony could engulf the Trump administration in further political scandals, delaying the administration's plans to implement economic initiatives such as tax reform intended to boost the economy.
On the economic data front, investors digested weekly initially jobless claims data, which fell short of expectations.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims decreased by 10,000 to 245,000 in the week ended June 3, below forecasts of a 15,000 decline.
In corporate news, shares of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA) closed more than 13% higher, after Alibaba’s management said it expected total sales growth this year of 45 to 49%, a target that tops analysts’ expectations by 10%.
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