REUTERS/John Gress US stocks gained on Thursday as a surge in weekly jobless claims was offset by optimism around President-elect Joe Biden's stimulus plan.Weekly jobless claims of 965,000 represented the biggest increase since March and the highest level since August.Democrats are weighing a potential multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bill that would combine infrastructure spending and COVID-19 relief legislation into a single bill.Sign up here our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell. US stocks gained on Thursday as a surge in weekly jobless claims was offset by hopes of a massive stimulus bill from President-elect Joe Biden. Jobless claims surged to 965,000 for the week ended on Saturday, representing the biggest surge since March and the highest level since August. Economists had been expecting 800,000 jobless claims for the week. But traders appear more focused on the multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bill being floated by President-elect Joe Biden. Here's where US indexes stood after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Thursday: S&P 500: 3,817.79, up 0.2%Dow Jones industrial average: 31,195.81, up 0.4% (135 points)Nasdaq composite: 13,173.57, up 0.4% Read more: Cathie Wood's ARK Invest runs 5 active ETFs that more than doubled in 2020. She and her analysts share their 2021 outlooks on the economy, bitcoin, and ...read more...