Nasdaq Moves Sharply Higher, Snapping Three-Day Losing Streak
Stocks turned in a lackluster performance for much of the trading session on Thursday but managed to end the day mostly higher. Technology stocks helped lead the advance, resulting in a surge by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.
The Nasdaq saw further upside going into the close, jumping 128.41 points or 1.0 percent to 13,630.61. The S&P 500 also climbed 16.20 points or 0.4 percent to 4,381.89, while the narrower Dow edged down 4.81 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 33,946.71.
The higher close on the day came as some traders looked to pick up stocks at somewhat reduced levels, with the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both snapping three-day losing streaks.
Buying interest may also have been generated in reaction to a Labor Department report showing initial jobless claims held at their highest level since October 2021 last week.
The report said initial jobless claims came in at 264,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 260,000 from the 262,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Reflecting the upward revision to the previous week, jobless claims held at their highest level since hitting 269,000 in the week ended October 23, 2021.
With the Federal Reserve repeatedly warning about the impact of labor market tightness, the data may have added to optimism the central bank will not follow through on plans to continue raising interest rates.
Lingering concerns about rates limited the upside, however, as the Bank of England raised rates more aggressively, hiking rates by a bigger-than-expected 50 basis points.
Retail stocks showed a substantial move to the upside on the day, driving the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index up by 1.8 percent to a ten-month closing high.
Within the sector, shares of Overstock.com (OSTK) soared by 17.3 percent after the internet retailer won an auction to buy Bed Bath & Beyond’s intellectual property and digital assets.
Significant strength also emerged among software stocks, as reflected by the 1.3 percent gain posted by the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index.
On the other hand, interest rate concerns weighed on banking stocks, dragging the KBW Bank Index down by 2.3 percent.
Energy stocks also saw considerable weakness amid a sharp pullback by the price of crude oil, moving notably lower along with brokerage and commercial real estate stocks.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Thursday, with markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan closed for the Dragon Boat Festival. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slid by 0.9 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi rose by 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index edged down by 0.2 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the French CAC 40 Index both fell by 0.8 percent.
In the bond market, treasuries slid firmly into negative territory after ending the previous session roughly flat. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, climbed 7.6 basis points to 3.799 percent.
Overall trading activity on Friday may be somewhat subdued amid a lack of major U.S. economic data on the day.
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