Benchmarks closed in the red after a rollercoaster ride on Thursday, as investors remained worried about tech stocks’ overvaluation. Additionally, weak labor market data and uncertainties revolving around another fiscal stimulus bill clouded investors’ sentiment as the economy struggled to recover from the pandemic.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 405.89 points, or 1.5%, to close at 27,534.58 and the S&P 500 declined 59.77 points, or 1.8% to close at 3,339.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 10,919.59, shedding 221.97 points, or 2%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) increased 3.1%, to close at 29.71. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones for 2.14-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.97-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored decliners.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
On Thursday, all the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500 ended in the negative territory, with the energy and the technology sectors weighing heavily of the broader index and declining 3.7% and 2.3%, respectively for the day. The energy sector’s decline was mostly due to drop in as oil prices, after data underlined a surprise build up in crude stockpiles in the previous week and forecasts of lower demand for oil in the global market.
The tech-laden Nasdaq now slumped for four of the past five sessions, and puts the index 7.3% down so far this month. Tech giants like Apple Inc. (AAPL - Free Report) , Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) , Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN - Free Report) , and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) declined more than 2% for the session.
On the contrary, shares of Tesla, Inc. (TSLA - Free Report) rose 1.4% after the company reported that it is planning to expand its site near Berlin and also aims for the 'first completion' of its Texas Gigafactory complete by May 2021. Tesla carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Overall, the S&P 500 posted six new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 42 new highs and 25 new lows.
Initial Claims Matches Previous Week Figure
On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that 884,000 filled for initial jobless claims for the week ending Sep 5. Claims for the reported week matched the revised figure of the previous week and is above the consensus estimate of 838,000. The report highlighted that there has been significant rise in the number of Americans who filled for unemployment benefits in early September and for the fourth consecutive week now. This also indicated that the gradual improvement in the labor market during the summer has stalled.
Additionally, continuing jobless claims rose by 93,000 to a seasonally adjusted 13.39 million for the week ending Aug 29. The parameter recorded the first increase in five weeks. Both the parameter shows that the decline in new claims appears to have stalled for now.
Mortgage Rate Hit All-Time Low Again
For the ninth time in 2020, mortgage rates dropped down to all-time low. Per Freddie Mac’s report on Thursday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.86% for the week ending Sep 10, falling 13 basis points from the week before. The parameter had hit a record low of 2.88% previously in August. This also reflects that the investors are gradually moving away from equity markets and move towards the relatively safe government bonds. Additionally, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased five basis points to an average of 2.37%.
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