Benchmarks closed mixed on Thursday as investors digested weekly labor market report and grew concerned over signs of rising coronavirus cases in several states undergoing reopening process.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) fell 39.51 points, or 0.2%, to close at 26,080.10. On the other hand, the S&P 500 rose 1.85 points, or less than 0.1% to close at of 3,115.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index closed at 9,943.05, adding 32.52 points, or 0.3%. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) decreased 1.6%, to close at 32.94. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones for 1.23-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.10-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq favored decliners.
How Did the Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow closed lower for a second straight session on Thursday, weighed by American Express Company (AXP - Free Report) and The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS - Free Report) drop of 1.7% and 1.1%, respectively.
American Express carries aZacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
The tech-laden Nasdaq is up 3.7% on pace for its fourth positive week in five and best week since May 8.The benchmark is nearly 50% above its 52-week low on March 23.
Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, four ended in the green, with energy seeing the largest percentage gains for the day. A decline of 1.3% in the real estate sector weighed on the broader index.
Overall, the S&P 500 posted five new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq Composite recorded 72 new highs and four new lows.
New COVID-19 Cases Surge
Wall Street struggled for direction on Jun 18 as investors grew concerned over the rise in new coronavirus cases in some of the states, as the economy gradually starts to reopen. Rise in new cases has increased possibilities of a new round of lockdown measures and acts as a hurdle to the V-shaped recovery that investors are anticipating.
Nearly ten US states have reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases and Florida could be the next epicenter of the pandemic. The state reported 3,207 additional coronavirus cases on Jun 18, the largest single-day count in Florida since the pandemic. With cases spiking, concerns grow as more than 75% of Florida's adult intensive care unit beds are occupied at present.
New York City that has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, now gears up to enter Phase 2 of the reopening process. The process includes opening of retail shops, outdoor dining and hair salons. Other states that have recorded spike in cases are Alabama, Arizona, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas.
However, President Donald Trump has insisted the governors of the states not to impose a new round of restrictions, immediately.
Weekly Jobless Claims Rise for the 13th Consecutive Month
On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that 1.508 million new jobless claim applications were made in the last week. For the 13th consecutive month the weekly jobless claims stayed above 1 million as the coronavirus pandemic continued to hammer the U.S. economy. The number surpasses the consensus estimates of 1.3 million. However, the figure is lower than the previous week’s claims of 1.566 million.
On the other hand, continuing claims, or claims of those who have been receiving unemployment benefits for at least two weeks, have lowered to 20.5 million, a decline of 62,000 from the week before.
Stocks that Made Headline
JPMorgan Gets Nod to Own 100% Stake in China-based Futures JV
JPMorgan (JPM - Free Report) continues with its plan of getting full ownership of China-based joint ventures (JVs). The recent addition to the list of JVs wherein the bank has full control is its futures JV, J.P.Morgan Futures Co., which has received a regulatory approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission to increase its stake to 100% from 49%. (Read More)
Continental to Gradually Revive Output as Oil Price Improves
Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR - Free Report) recently announced that the company is planning to gradually restore curtailed production volumes. It provided a detailed update on voluntary output curtailments as crude prices are improving. (Read More)
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