NEW YORK, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks finished higher on Thursday, bolstered by a positive momentum in tech names.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 44.81 points, or 0.15 percent, to 29,483.23. The S&P 500 climbed 14.08 points, or 0.39 percent, to 3,581.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 103.11 points, or 0.87 percent, to 11,904.71.
Shares of major U.S. tech giants including Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google-parent Alphabet gained.
Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors advanced, with energy and technology closing up 1.53 percent and 0.84 percent, respectively, outpacing the rest. Utilities slipped 1.03 percent, the worst-performing group.
U.S.-listed Chinese companies traded mostly higher, with seven of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P U.S. Listed China 50 index ending the day on an upbeat note.
Meanwhile, soaring COVID-19 infections in the United States continue to present a headwind.
The country has reported more than 11.6 million cases in total with the death toll from the disease exceeding 251,000 as of Thursday afternoon, showed a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
On the data front, U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, registered 742,000 in the week ending Nov. 14, an increase of 31,000 from the previous week's revised level, reported the Department of Labor on Thursday, suggesting the labor market recovery is slowing amid a surging pandemic. Analysts polled by Bloomberg had estimated the initial claims would decline to 700,000.