The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite opened in record territory Thursday morning, after weekly data on the labor market came in at a pandemic-era low. Jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, dropped to 340,000, reaching the lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the market in the spring and summer of 2020. The report comes ahead of a highly anticipated report on employment due on Friday, which many think could set the timing for the Federal Reserve's tapering of crisis-era asset purchases that had added liquidity to financial markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA -0.17% rose 117 points, or 0.3%, at 35,431. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.84% climbed 18 points, or 0.4%, to 4,542, and set an intraday record high at 4,542.83, while the Nasdaq Composite index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -1.92% traded 0.4% higher at 15,366, after establishing its own intraday record at 15,380.07. The Nasdaq closed at a record on Wednesday.