The stock exchanges in New York opened on Thursday with small gains. Where there were still definite pluses during the pre-market trading, these were primarily reduced by an alarming figure about the American labour market.
Due to the corona crisis, a record number of Americans claimed benefits last week, new figures from the Department of Commerce show.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow-Jones index was 0.2 percent higher at 20,990 points. The broad S&P 500 won 0.3 percent to 2,484 points. Technology gauge Nasdaq rose 0.4 percent to 7388 points.
More than 6.6 million Americans applied for a first benefit last week. That was much more than economists had expected, doubling the 3.3 million claims from a week earlier when there was also an explosive increase.
Oil companies were on the rise, thanks to the sharp increase in oil prices. President Donald Trump has said he wants to mediate in the price war on the oil market between Russia and Saudi Arabia and that he is rapidly counting on a ceasefire between those countries.
A barrel of American oil was worth 9.2 percent more at $ 22.18, and Brent oil rose 8 percent to $ 26.73.
Oil giants Chevron and ExxonMobil won up to 4.5 percent. Major oil service providers such as Schlumberger (plus 3.3 percent) and Halliburton (plus 3.9 percent) also benefited from price increases.
Boeing lost 1 percent. The aircraft manufacturer has offered employees a voluntary departure scheme to save costs.