U.S. stocks finished mixed, joining overseas markets, with some slight optimism regarding U.S./China trade negotiations being countered by a dovish tone from the European Central Bank that likely kept global growth concerns intact. Moreover, political turmoil on both sides of the pond appeared to continue to hamstring conviction, while uncertainty what the Fed will do at its policy meeting next week likely fostered some caution. Treasury yields finished mixed and the U.S. dollar was little changed despite a sharp drop in jobless claims, while crude oil prices were higher and gold declined.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 70 points (0.3%) to 24,597, while the S&P 500 Index dipped 1 point to 2,651 and the NASDAQ Composite declined 28 points (0.4%) to 7,070. In moderately-heavy volume, 913 million shares were traded on the NYSE and 2.1 billion shares changed hands on the NASDAQ. WTI crude oil rose $1.43 to $52.58 per barrel and wholesale gasoline was up $0.06 at $1.48 per gallon. Elsewhere, the Bloomberg gold spot price was $2.69 lower at $1,242.97 per ounce, and the Dollar Index—a comparison of the U.S. dollar to six major world currencies—was little changed at 97.07.
Weekly initial jobless claims declined by 27,000 to 206,000, versus the Bloomberg expectation calling for a decline to 226,000, with the prior week’s figure upwardly revised at 233,000. The four-week moving average decreased by 3,750 to 224,750, while continuing claims increased by 25,000 to 1,661,000, north of estimates of 1,649,000.
Treasuries finished mixed, with the yield on the 2-year note dipping 1 basis point (bp) to 2.76% and the yield on the 10-year note flat at 2.91%, while the 30-year bond rate ticked 2 bps higher to 3.17%. The flattening and inversion of some short term yields compared to the 5-year note last week garnered a lot of market attention.
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