Wall Street opens higher as data lowers rate hike view

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Investors will be paying close attention to the latest figures, to get a taste for how the US economy is performing as of late, and what this may mean for the Federal Reserve's strategy going forward. This was a technical level that acted as resistance in the past week. Health care and technology companies lead the way and the Nasdaq composite closed at a record high. On Wednesday Trump reiterated his call for a USA corporate tax rate cut to 15 percent from 35 percent.

"The economy is gaining traction, and inflation at this stage is still modest", said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced Wednesday, as stronger than expected growth data offset fears of a military confrontation on the Korean peninsula.

Better-than-expected initial jobs claims data pointed to continuing United States labor market strength while the pace of inflation remained subdued, increasing at its slowest pace in almost two-years.

Official figures said spending by U.S. consumers grew last month (July), along with wages and salaries, bolstering the view that the economy continues to strengthen amid Trump's policies.

The data "reinforced the belief that the bull market is still intact", according to Robert W. Baird's Antonelli.

The core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index - the Fed's preferred inflation measure - increased 1.4 per cent in the 12 months through July, its smallest year-on-year increase since December 2015. (NYSE: HRB) which traded down about 8.3% at $26.81.

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Also investors awaited the monthly jobs report on Friday to gauge the strength of the labour market and look for clues on the Federal Reserve's next move on interest rates.

The blue-chip index climbed 27.06 points, or 0.1%, to close at 21,892.43.

The Dow is up 78.76 points, or 0.4 percent.

Dollar General fell 5.4 percent after reporting a slide in second-quarter margins.

For the month, the Dow and the S&P 500 notched five-month winning streaks, while the Nasdaq recorded its ninth positive month.

About 6.2 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges on Thursday compared with the 5.8 billion average for the last 20 sessions.

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