U.S. market indexes were mixed Thursday. For the day the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 10.06 points or 0.06 percent to close at 17,721.18. The S&P 500 was down, closing at 2,064.11 for a loss of -0.35 points or -0.02 percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed lower at 4,737.33 for a loss of -23.35 points or -0.49 percent.
Source: DJIA, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite. Google Finance.
Thursday’s Factors and Events
Retail stocks continued to gain the spotlight with earnings reports from Kohl’s and Ralph Lauren on Thursday. Kohl’s missed revenue and earnings estimates and the stock was down -3.55 points or -9.17 percent to close at $35.15. Ralph Lauren gave a positive report for the firm’s fourth quarter earnings with revenue and earnings beating analysts’ expectations. The stock gained 2.38 points or 2.82 percent to close at $86.88. Retail stocks Disney, Macy’s and Staples continued to post losses. Disney was down 0.56 percent Thursday. Macy’s was 0.54 percent lower and Staples lost 2.83 percent.
Jobless claims were a key factor in the day’s trading as the report showed a significantly higher number of claims than estimated. Jobless claims were 20,000 for the week, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week. The ongoing level for claims is also higher than consensus at 294,000 versus consensus of 267,000. The week’s report combined with the weak Employment Situation Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is increasing concern for a weaker economy.
Technology stocks were also lower for the day as Apple saw substantial losses. The Nasdaq Composite was down 0.49 percent and the Nasdaq 100 closed at 4,342.81 for a loss of -18.22 points or -0.42 percent. Apple was down -2.19 points or -2.37 percent to close at $90.32. Analysts’ cited research and development spending as the main reason for the losses. High research and development spending has investors worried after Apple reported some of its weakest ever sales numbers in its most recent earnings report.
In commodities, gold traded lower as evidenced by the SPDR Gold Trust which reported a loss of -0.96 points or -0.79 percent. The dollar was higher for the day as the U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.33 points or 0.35 percent to 94.16.
Other Notable Index Closes Thursday
The small-cap Russell 2000 closed lower for the day at 1,108.60 for a loss of -6.14 points or -0.55 percent. The S&P 600 closed at 682.19 for a loss of -2.66 points or -0.39 percent. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Growth TSM Index closed at 6,789.13 for a loss of -38.66 points or -0.57 percent. The Dow Jones Small-Cap Value TSM closed at 8,128.59 for a loss of -22.22 points or -0.27 percent. The S&P 400 Mid-Cap Index closed at 1,453.78 for a loss of -1.29 points or -0.09 percent. The Russell 3000 closed at 1,213.40 for a loss of -1.12 points or -0.09 percent. The Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index closed at 589.90 for a gain of 2.22 points or 0.38 percent.
Disney, Macy’s and Staples led stocks lower Wednesday as the retail companies reported lower earnings and a weaker outlook. The focus on retail stocks this week will also include the retail sales report on Friday which may be below expectations of 0.9 percent, given the recent reports from retail companies. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 216.82 points or 1.21 percent to close at 17,711.53. The S&P 500 was also down, closing at 2,064.48 for a loss of 19.91 points or 0.96 percent. The Nasdaq Composite closed lower at 4,760.69 for a loss of 49.19 points or 1.02 percent.