Los Angeles Times
Stocks mixed after jobless report
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.