Markets posted losses on Thursday following a decline in financial shares after banks tanked. Such losses were buoyed by decline in shares of JPMorgan and Citigroup. Further, shares of AT&T also declined and weighed on the broader markets. Meanwhile, initial jobless claims plummeted to hit a six-week low after business resumed in Texas and Florida — areas pummeled by two destructive hurricanes.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) closed at 22,841.01, declining 0.1%. The S&P 500 Index (INX) decreased 0.2% to close at 2,550.93. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) closed at 6,591.51, decreasing 0.2%. A total of 6 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 6.1 billion shares. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1.22-to-1 ratio. On the Nasdaq, decliners outnumbered advancers by 1.10-to-1 ratio. The CBOE VIX increased 0.5% to close at 9.9.
Benchmarks Post Losses After Bank Shares Swoon
The S&P 500 lost 4.31 points on Thursday to end in the negative territory. Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, six ended in the red with financial and consumer discretionary shares leading the laggards. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) and the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) declined 0.8% and 0.7%, respectively. Financial sector tanked following a nosedive in bank shares. Shares of JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) and Citigroup (C - Free Report) declined 0.9% and 3.4%, respectively and weighed heavily on the broader markets. Both the companies possess a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
JPMorgan reported its third quarter earnings on Thursday, comfortably beating the expectations. However, the stock declined after the company’s fixed income trading revenue dipped around 27% to come in at $3.2 billion in the third quarter of this year. Meanwhile, Citigroup also reported third quarter earnings, surpassing the market expectations. However, the stock declined after the company’s operating expenses declined about 2% and the cost of credit increased 15% due to global consumer banking as well as high credit reserve build. Such losses weighed heavily on the financial sector.
Moreover, weighing on the markets was a decline in shares of AT&T (T - Free Report) , which lost 5.7%. Such losses followed an announcement from the company that it lost approximately 90,000 video subscribers within the United States in the third quarter in the wake of two big hurricanes and also because of stiff competition in the market. This weighed heavily on the telecom sector.
The Dow declined almost 32 points to finish in the red and the Nasdaq ended 12.04 points lower to end in the negative territory.
New Economic Data
The weekly initial jobless claims plummeted to 243,000 from last week — a decline of 15,000. This marked its lowest level in as many as six weeks. The consensus estimate for the period was 255,000 claims. Economists commented that only a few Americans applied for unemployment benefits in this period as business resumed in Texas and Florida, with more people resuming work, post the recent carnage by two destructive hurricanes.
Moreover, initial claims in Puerto Rico were also lower not because of people going back to work but due to the absence of electricity after the island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. Consequently, people could not file claims from the island nor could the claims be processed. As a result, the analysts expect such claims to show up in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, the Core PPI for the month of September increased by 0.4%, up from 0.1% in August. The consensus estimate for the period was 0.2%. However, PPI for September increased by 0.4%, in line with the consensus estimate for the period.
Stocks That Made Headlines
HP Inc Shares Jump on Positive Fiscal 2018 Outlook
The world’s largest PC manufacturer, HP Inc. (HPQ - Free Report) , provided fiscal 2018 outlook in its recent Securities Analyst Meeting. (Read More)
Equifax Tanks as Reports Claim Another Cyber Attack
Shares of Equifax Inc. (EFX - Free Report) fell yesterday after the website — Ars Technica — reported that the credit information provider may have been subject to another cyber attack. (Read More)
Nu Skin Up 2.4% on Raised Q3 Sales and Profit View
Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. (NUS - Free Report) recently updated its outlook for third-quarter 2017, following which shares spiked around 2.4%. (Read More)
Enterprise Products Hikes Quarterly Cash Distribution
Enterprise Products Partners L.P.’s (EPD - Free Report) board of directors has announced a year-over-year increase in its quarterly cash distribution. (Read More)
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