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As jobless claims climb back to one million, Wall Street slips

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq advanced on Thursday, as gains in heavyweight tech stocks outweighed downbeat data that affirmed the Federal Reserve’s view of a difficult road to economic recovery.

Stocks had opened lower after data showed jobless claims rose unexpectedly back above the 1 million mark last week after slipping below that level for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The volatility in jobless claims followed the lapse of an extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit at the end of July and came as Democrats in Congress have failed to reach an agreement with the White House on extending it.

Despite signs that parts of the economy are still far away from pre-pandemic levels, the benchmark S&P 500 index completed its fastest recovery from a bear market this week, joining the Nasdaq in scaling new peaks. It also confirmed a bull market for the S&P 500.

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