U.S. Stocks End Slightly Higher But Market Volatility Increases

U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Thursday as strong sales outlook from Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO provided support to the technology sector.

Shares of Cisco gained around 5.8% on Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected Q4 results and issued a strong sales forecast for the first quarter.

Traders are seeing a greater chance that the Federal Reserve will raise rates by 50 basis points during September’s meeting instead of the 75 bps hike.

On the economic data front, U.S. initial jobless claims dropped by 2,000 to 250,000 the week ended August 13th.

The Nasdaq 100 gained 0.26% to close at 13,505.99 on Thursday, while the S&P 500 rose 0.23%. The Dow Jones rose around 19 points to settle at 33,999.04 in the previous session.

Major sectors on the S&P 500 closed on a mixed note, with energy stocks recording the biggest surge on Thursday. Real estate, however, was the worst performing sector in the previous session, falling around 0.8%

U.S. stock futures, meanwhile, traded lower this morning after recording slight gains in the prior session.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange's CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) rose 1.1% to 20.11 points.

What is CBOE Volatility Index?

The CBOE Volatility Index, popularly known as VIX, is a measure of the equity market's expectation of volatility based on S&P 500 index call and put options.

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