Mid-Day Recap: Stocks Mixed After Labor Data
Stocks opened higher on Thursday, edged lower in the first hour, and 90 minutes into the session results are mixed.
The Dow is flat at 8175, while the S&P 500 is up 0.28% to 882, and the Nasdaq is up 0.36% to 1753. The gains are pretty minor considering the Nasdaq is down close to 5% since last Thursday, while the 5-day loss for the S&P is 4.4%
Markets opened higher due to a smaller-than-expected loss in Q2 from Alcoa, whose earnings were posted after the closing bell yesterday. In addition, a weekly labor report this morning said Jobless Claims fell to 565,000 last week, their lowest level since January.
Analysts were quick to point out that July is a volatile period for the labor market and the holiday-shortened week probably skewed the data. Even so, it was nice to initial claims fall below 600k for the first time in 23 weeks.
“We are cautious not to read too much into the surprising 52k decline in initial jobless claims (565k vs. 617k previously), because of seasonal volatility at this time of year largely related to retooling in the auto sector for the new model year,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief US economist at Deutsche Bank.
David Wyss, chief economist at S&P, said the report “is distorted by the holiday weekend, and probably reflects seasonal adjustment anomalies rather than any sudden improvement in the labor market.”
In addition, optimism was also tempered by the fact that Continuing Claims soared by more than 150k to 6.883 million â€
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