Stocks finished confidently higher Thursday, holding on to session records set earlier to extend a winning streak that's lasted several trading days. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained close to half a percent to finish its seventh-straight day in the green. The S&P 500 pushed up 0.5% as well, snagging its eight-straight daily gain. The Nasdaq was up as high as 0.7%, also on its eighth-straight day of gains. All three benchmark indexes touched fresh intraday records earlier Thursday.
Thursday's gains were again largely driven by consumer staples, this time with Constellation Brands (STZ) leading the pack. The alcoholic beverage maker posted a better-than-expected second quarter, notching earnings per share of $2.47 that blew away analyst estimates of $2.17 per share. Net sales came in heartier than expected, too. Strong beer sales offset weaker wine and spirit sales for the quarter.
FedEx (FDX) and UPS (UPS) moved lower Thursday on reports Amazon AMZN is testing its own delivery service. Amazon's service, which is being called 'Seller Flex,' is being tested on the West Coast. It's supposed to make more Amazon items available for free two-day shipping and reduce overcrowding in company warehouses. While FedEx and UPS share suffered at the news, Amazon had hearty gains Thursday.
Markets are looking ahead to the jobs report on Friday morning. The recent string of hurricanes is expected to hit the headline number, though this will likely be a short-lived burden. Economists surveyed by FactSet anticipate 80,000 jobs to have been added to the U.S. economy in September. That would be a sharp slowdown from the 156,000 jobs added in August. The jobs measure has not fallen below the 100,000 mark since March and has only been below that threshold four times in the past five years.