- US equities erased early gains and closed mixed on Thursday as fears of spiking virus cases overshadowed better-than-expected jobless-claims data.
- Unemployment-insurance claims last week declined to 1.3 million, the Labor Department announced on Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a reading of 1.38 million.
- Walgreens shares tanked after the company reported a $1.7 billion loss in the third quarter and froze its stock-buyback program.
- Tech giants rallied and pushed the Nasdaq composite to another record close.
- Oil traded lower, with West Texas Intermediate crude falling as much as 4%, to $39.27 per barrel.
- Watch major indexes update live here.
Major US indexes closed mixed on Thursday after traders looked past positive jobless-claims data and grew more concerned about the US’s coronavirus resurgence.
US virus cases surpassed 3 million on Wednesday, prompting new concerns of a longer-than-expected recession. Stocks turned lower after Florida, now the nation’s virus hotspot, reported a record number of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Coronavirus deaths also jumped by a record amount.
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Thursday:
- S&P 500: 3,152.05, down 0.6%
- Dow Jones industrial average: 25,706.09, down 1.4% (361 points)
- Nasdaq composite: 10,547.75, up 0.5%
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Equities rose through the morning on positive labor-market data before sliding on renewed virus fears. The Labor Department said unemployment-insurance claims last week totaled 1.3 million, down 99,000 from the week before. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a reading of 1.38 million.
While the metric has fallen for 14 consecutive weeks, its latest reading is still about double the 665,000 filings during the Great Recession’s worst week. Continuing claims — those tracking Americans receiving unemployment benefits — declined to 18.1 million for the week that ended on June 27.
Elsewhere in economic data, Bloomberg’s consumer-comfort index fell 0.4 points, to 42.9, in the week that ended on Sunday. The decline was the gauge’s first in seven weeks and led by a drop in buying attitudes.
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Walgreens shares led the Dow lower. The drugstore chain plummeted after reporting a $1.7 billion loss in the third quarter. Adjusted earnings per share also missed expectations, landing at $0.83 versus analysts’ forecast of $1.19.
Oil prices slid after Libya restarted an oil field for the first time since January. The renewed pumping activity sparked oversupply concerns. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 4%, to $39.27 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 3.1%, to $41.94 per barrel, at intraday lows.
Over the week, investors have largely looked through the spike in US coronavirus cases and pushed equity prices higher. Stocks gained on Wednesday as a tech rally overshadowed falling travel stocks. Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet all turned higher through the session, and Apple reached an all-time high.
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