Los Angeles Times

Stocks mixed after job­less re­port

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Stocks gave back some of their re­cent gains Wed­nes­day as a batch of dis­cour­ag­ing eco­nomic data prompted in­vestors to take a pause a day after the mar­ket’s record- set­ting climb.

The Stan­dard & Poor’s 500 index dropped 0.2% a day after set­ting an all- time high. The Dow Jones in­dus­trial av­er­age slipped be­low 30,000, a day after cross­ing that mile­stone for the f irst time. In­dus­trial, en­ergy and health­care com­pa­nies ac­counted for much of the de­cline. Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies rose, driv­ing the Nas­daq com­pos­ite to a record high.

The sell­ing fol­lowed re­ports show­ing the num­ber of Amer­i­cans seek­ing un­em­ploy­ment aid jumped last week to the high­est level in more than a month. A sep­a­rate re­port showed con­sumer spend­ing posted the weak­est gain since April.

De­spite the pull­back, Wall Street closed up shop for the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day with the bench­mark S& P 500 still up 11% this month.

The S& P 500 fell 5.76 points to 3,629.65. The Dow gave up 173.77 points, or 0.6%, to 29,872.47. The tech- heavy Nas­daq gained 57.62 points, or 0.5%, to 12,094.40. The index, which is on a three- day win­ning streak, last hit an all- time high Sept. 2.

Stocks have been push­ing higher this month as in­vestors have grown more hope­ful that the devel­op­ment of coro­n­avirus vac­cines and treat­ments will help pave the way for the econ­omy to re­cover next year.

This week, traders have also been en­cour­aged by signs that the tran­si­tion of power in the U. S. to Pres­i­dent- elect Joe Bi­den has be­gun.

Still, signs that the pan­demic con­tin­ues to weigh on the econ­omy re­main in the fore­front. On Wed­nes­day, the gov­ern­ment said the num­ber of Amer­i­cans ap­ply­ing for un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits rose last week to 778,000, the high­est level in five weeks.

The down­beat eco­nomic re­ports spurred the rally in tech­nol­ogy stocks, which traders have con­sis­tently bet on this year. Big Tech names such as Ap­ple, Mi­crosoft and Ama­zon have been fa­vored be­cause the com­pa­nies tend to have strong bal­ance sheets and are ex­pected to con­tinue do­ing well once the pan­demic sub­sides.

The yield on the bench­mark 10- year Trea­sury rose to 0.88% from 0.87% late Tues­day.

U. S. mar­kets will be closed Thurs­day for the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day. They will be open for half the day Friday, clos­ing at 1 p. m. East­ern.

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