* Russell 2000 hits record intraday high
* Financials, technology stocks lead S&P gainers
* Weeekly jobless claims drop by 10,000 to 258,000 - report
* Indexes up: Dow 0.1 pct, S&P 0.06 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Dec 8 A month-long rally on Wall Street, sparked
by Donald Trump's election as U.S. president, roared ahead on
Thursday, driving major Wall Street indexes to record highs.
Investors are betting on shares of industrial and financial
companies as they expect these sectors to benefit the most from
Trump's promise to spend more on infrastructure and simplify
The small cap Russell 2000 index also hit a record
"The market is projecting a lot more confidence in future
growth, and I don't expect any big pullback to derail the rally
until the end of the year," said Chris Story, senior trader at
Manulife Asset Management in Boston, Massachusetts.
Adding to the bullish tone was a report that showed the
number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell from a
five-month high last week, pointing to a robust labor market and
building on a recent spate of strong economic data.
The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged but
made a surprise decision to reduce its asset purchase plans to
60 billion euros ($64 billion) from the current 80 billion euros
U.S. stock index futures fell slightly on the ECB's
decision, but pared losses after the central bank's president,
Mario Draghi, said he was not offering an outright winding-down
of the program.
Investors, however, are likely to tread cautiously ahead of
the Federal Reserve's meeting next week, where traders see a
more than 90 chance of an interest rate hike.
At 11:13 a.m. ET (1613 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial
average was up 18.59 points, or 0.1 percent, at
19,568.21. It hit a record high of 19,592.95 - its 10th since
the Nov.8 election.
The S&P 500 was up 1.43 points, or 0.06 percent, at
2,242.78, slightly below its high of 2,244.03.
The Nasdaq Composite was up 21.84 points, or 0.4
percent, at 5,415.61, easing from a high of 5,416.54.
Six of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, led by
gains in technology due mostly to Apple,
while the financial sector rose on gains in Bank of
America, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo
Utilities, which have been among the worst
performers in the rally, were the top losers, followed by a 0.24
percent decline in healthcare.
Lululemon soared 16.2 percent to $69.58 after the
yoga and leisure apparel retailer reported a
better-than-expected quarterly profit.
Costco rose 4.2 percent to $160.22 after the
warehouse club retailer reported a quarterly profit that beat
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,513
to 1,296. On the Nasdaq, 1,807 issues rose and 900 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 96 new 52-week highs and four new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 313 new highs and 15 new lows.
($1 = 0.9384 euros)
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by