Stocks rallied Thursday on the back of better-than-expected quarterly earning reports from major companies, including Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA  ), UnitedHealth (UNH  ) and Bank of America (BAC  ). The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped over 530 points, while both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq climbed over 1.7% each.

Here's how the market settled on Thursday:

S&P 500 Index (SPY  ): +1.71% or +74.45 points to 4,438.25

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIA  ): +1.56% or +534.75 points to 34,912.56

Nasdaq Composite Index (QQQ  ): +1.73% or +251.79 points to 14,823.43

Key FDA panel unanimously backs Moderna booster shots:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) independent vaccine advisory panel unanimously recommended Thursday booster shots of Moderna's (MRNA  ) COVID-19 vaccine for people age 65 years and older and other vulnerable Americans.

The non-binding decision by the agency's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee brings Moderna's booster shot guidelines in-line with the FDA's authorized guidelines for Pfizer (PFE  ) and BioNTech's (BNTX  ) third dose. Those shots were authorized for more vulnerable Americans, including the elderly, adults with underlying medical conditions and those who work or live in high-risk settings like healthcare.

A final FDA decision on Moderna boosters is expected to be reached within the next few days. From there, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) vaccine advisory committee will vote on the FDA's proposal next week. If the panel recommends approval and the CDC endorses it, Mondera booster shots could be available immediately for eligible Americans who completed their initial vaccine regimen at least six months prior.

Producer prices hold at historically high annual levels in September:

Prices paid to producers in the United States decelerated in September compared to August, but still held at historically high levels versus last year as inflationary pressures continue to impact the U.S. economy.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Producer Price Index (PPI) rose at a 0.5% monthly rate in September, slowing from August's 0.7% increase. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, last month's PPI ticked 0.2% high, slowing from August's 0.6% increase.

Compared to last year, the PPI still increased at a historically elevated rate, rising by 8.6% in September over the same month last year, accelerating from August's 8.3% annual rate and posting the fastest rate on record, with data spanning back to 2010. Excluding food and energy prices, last month's PPI rose by 6.8% compared to August's 6.7% increase.

Initial jobless claims fall to new pandemic-era low:

Initial jobless claims fell below 300,000 for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic back in March 2020 last week.

New unemployment claims totaled 293,000 for the week ended Oct. 9, according to the Labor Department's latest report published Thursday, falling lower than the previous pandemic-era low of 312,000 posted in the beginning of September. Last week's fresh total was also down from the prior week's 329,000 total claims, which were upwardly revised by 3,000.

Moreover, continuing jobless claims also reached a fresh pandemic-era low of 2.593 million for the week ended Oct. 2, falling from the previous week's total of 2.727 million.

Here's how market benchmarks started trading soon after opening bell:

S&P 500 Index: +0.97% or +42.28 points to 4,406.08

Dow Jones Industrial Average: +1.24% or +425.25 points to 34,803.06

Nasdaq Composite Index: +0.90% or +131.62 points to 14,702.84