US stocks closed mixed as investors digested the newly-released unemployment data.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average decreased 80.12 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 27,896.72. The S&P 500 fell 6.92 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 3,373.43. The Nasdaq Composite Index increased 30.27 points, or 0.27 per cent, to 11,042.50, Xinhua news agency reported.
Nine of the 11 primary S&P 500 sectors finished lower, with energy down 1.99 per cent, leading the laggards. Communication services and technology rose 0.38 per cent and 0.04 per cent, respectively, the only two gaining groups.
Meanwhile, US-listed Chinese companies traded mostly lower, with nine of the top 10 stocks by weight in the S&P US Listed China 50 index ending the day on a downbeat note.
US initial jobless claims, a rough way to gauge layoffs, registered 963,000 in the week ending August 8, following an upward revised 1.191 million in the prior week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday.
It marked the first time US weekly claims have dipped below one million since the economic shutdown sparked by the coronavirus pandemic began in March.
“The drop in claims reflects economic reopening, but it also suggests the expiration of federal supplemental unemployment benefits may have convinced some people to stop collecting and find work,” Chris Low, chief economist at FHN Financial, said in a note on Thursday.
Wall Street also fretted over the uncertain fate of the further coronavirus stimulus in the United States as the nation’s lawmakers continued to wrangle over the package.