* Weekly jobless claims fall to 265,000
* Pfizer top stock on Dow, S&P
* Nvidia down on Citron Research tweet
* Indexes up: Dow 0.17 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq 0.2 pct
(Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Dec 29 Strong economic data and gains in
healthcare stocks propped up Wall Street on Thursday, a day
after the S&P 500 suffered its biggest fall in two months.
A report showed the number of Americans applying for jobless
claims fell by 10,000 to 265,000 last week, indicating sustained
strength in the labor market.
U.S. equities had been enjoying a rally since the
presidential election in November on bets that Donald Trump
would introduce tax cuts, deregulation and higher infrastructure
spending that would spur economic growth.
The near two-month rally has seen the three main Wall Street
indexes rack up double-digit percentage gains, but has left some
market participants nervous about a potential correction.
The S&P 500 index suffered its biggest one-day percentage
drop on Wednesday, following weak housing data and losses in the
technology sector. The triple-digit loss on the Dow pulled it
further away from its march towards 20,000.
At 9:38 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was
up 34.26 points, or 0.17 percent, at 19,867.94
The S&P 500 was up 3.98 points, or 0.17 percent, at
The Nasdaq Composite was up 10.93 points, or 0.2
percent, at 5,449.49.
Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by
gains in industrials and utilities.
Nvidia's shares fell 2.5 percent to $106.31, a day
after short-seller Citron Research tweeted that the chipmaker's
stock could fall to $90 in 2017.
Shares of Advanced Micro Devices, Nvidia's rival,
were off 0.7 percent.
Cempra dropped 50 percent to $2.98 after the drug
developer said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected
its antibiotic treatment for pneumonia.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,920
to 635. On the Nasdaq, 1,582 issues rose and 624 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 1 new 52-week highs and two new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 28 new highs and 11 new lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by