After moving mostly higher early in the session, stocks have turned mixed over the course of the trading day on Thursday. While the S&P 500 has reached a new record intraday high, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has pulled back into negative territory.
Currently, the major averages continue to turn in a mixed performance. The Nasdaq is down 34.37 points or 0.2 percent at 14,469.58, but the Dow is up 73.44 points or 0.2 percent at 34,575.95 and the S&P 500 is up 10.29 points or 0.2 percent at 4,307.79.
The mixed performance on Wall Street comes as traders look ahead of the release of the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Friday.
Economists currently expect the report to show employment jumped by 690,000 jobs in June after surging up by 559,000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 5.7 percent from 5.8 percent.
A day ahead of the release of the monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report this morning showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by more than expected in the week ended June 26th.
The report said initial jobless claims slid to 364,000, a decrease of 51,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 415,000.
Economist had expected jobless claims to dip to 393,000 from the 411,000 originally reported for the previous week.
With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.
Meanwhile, a separate report released by the Institute for Supply Management showed a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of June.
The ISM said its manufacturing PMI slipped to 60.6 in June from 61.2 in May, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 61.0.
The Commerce Department also released a report showing an unexpected decrease in construction spending in the month of May.
Most of the major sectors are showing only modest moves on the day, contributing to the lackluster performance by the broader markets.
Oil service stocks have shown a substantial move to the upside, however, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index spiking by 3.3 percent.
The rally by oil service stocks comes amid a sharp increase by the price of crude oil, as crude for August delivery is jumping $1.53 to $75 a barrel.
Oil producer, housing and transportation stocks are also seeing some strength on the day, while notable weakness has emerged among semiconductor stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.3 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index edged down by 0.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has jumped by 1.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.8 percent and the German DAX Index is up by 0.5 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries are giving back ground after yesterday’s advance. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is up by 3.5 basis points at 1.478 percent.
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