Stocks’ Losses Shrink After Jobs News

Losses for U.S. stocks diminished as government figures showed a decline in the number of people filing initial claims for unemployment benefits in the latest week.

The figures showed that 881,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended Aug. 29. Continuing claims dropped to 13.25 million from 14.49 million people.

Last week’s data showed 1 million people filing initial claims and 14.5 million people with continuing claims. The Labor Department report comes ahead of the department’s employment report for all of August on Friday.

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% after the numbers emerged, compared with a loss of 0.5% just before. The Nasdaq Composite was off 1%, versus 1.2% before the data release, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.1%. It was down 0.2% before the data was reported.

Oil slid. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude fell 2.7%, while Brent crude was off by 2.4%.

Reports of new talks over the stalled stimulus bill have fanned expectations of a deal in the U.S.

“It would appear that traders welcomed the talk between [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary, even though they didn’t amount to anything—a conversation is at least a step in the right direction,” said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets U.K.

Shares overseas were higher following gains on Wall Street on Wednesday. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.1% and the Kospi Composite rose 1.3%, while the Hang Seng slipped 0.3%.

The French CAC 40 rose 1.6% as the Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.7%. France’s government on Thursday is releasing details of a €100 billion- ($118 billion) recovery plan.

Facebook shares fell 1.5% premarket after the social media giant said Thursday that it plans to halt having new political ads on its platform in the week leading up to the U.S. election.

Campbell Soup (CPB) shares fell 1.8% even though the soup maker’s fiscal fourth-quarter results exceeded Wall Street forecasts for both revenue and earnings.

CrowdStrike (CRWD) shares plunged 9.6% despite the cloud-based security software company’s fiscal second quarter results topping estimates.

Tesla (TSLA) shares were off by 7% after news Wednesday that its largest outside shareholder, Baillie Gifford, cut its stake in the electric-car company, citing portfolio constraints due to the “substantial increase” in the company’s stock.


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