NEW YORK, April 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. equities finished Thursday's session higher, underpinned by solid gains in energy shares.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 469.93 points, or 2.24 percent, to 21,413.44. The S&P 500 was up 56.40 points, or 2.28 percent, to 2,526.90. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 126.73 points, or 1.72 percent, to 7,487.31.
All the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors climbed, with energy up 9.08 percent at the close, outpacing the rest.
Energy shares advanced broadly, bolstered by regained optimism about a possible production cut deal between world's major oil producers.
Thursday's market rally came despite data showing a shocking number of Americans applied for unemployment benefits amid the COVID-19 crisis.
In the week ending March 28, U.S. initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, hit 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week's revised level, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.
The reading easily topped the 3.3 million initial jobless claims announced last Thursday, which at the time was the largest number ever recorded.
"Bear in mind, many people likely tried to file but could not due to overloaded systems," Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note on Thursday, while commenting on the unprecedented weekly jobless claims.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has risen above 1 million, according to the new tally from Johns Hopkins University on Thursday afternoon.
The United States has reported the most cases, which have surpassed 236,000, along with 5,648 deaths, showed the tally updated by the university's Center for Systems Science and Engineering.