Wall Street again falls just short of S&P 500 record

  • Wall Street again falls just short of S&P 500 record

Wall Street again falls just short of S&P 500 record

S&P 500 rose as high as 3,387.24 during the session, just above its record high closing level of 3,386.15 from February 19.

Asian shares were mostly higher on Thursday, cheered by the rally on Wall Street that's likely a boon for export-driven regional economies, even as investors worry about the coronanvirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq rose on Thursday, with Apple inching toward $2 trillion in market capitalization, as data showed jobless claims fell below one million last week for the first time since the start of the pandemic in United States.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.38% at 27,686.91, while the S&P 500 was 0.80% weaker at 3,333.69 and the Nasdaq Composite saw out the session 1.69% weaker at 10,782.82. The Nasdaq Composite climbed 30.27, or 0.3 percent, to 11,042.50.

Consumer spending is the main locomotive for the US economy, so investors paid close attention to the report showing that sales at grocery stores, gas stations and other retailers rose 1.2% last month from June. It's the third straight month of gains, following a gargantuan plunge in the spring, but it was a sharp slowdown from the 8.4% growth in the prior month.

Economists said the drop in jobless claims, which was better than the market was expecting, is an encouraging step.

Investors also awaited news on stimulus talks.

Economists say consumer spending could be under more pressure following the expiration of US government programs to aid the economy, including $600 in extra unemployment benefits each week. The index began stumbling in the early afternoon, as Treasury yields were accelerating following an auction of 30-year bonds by the United States government.

Data showed US consumer prices increased more-than-expected in July, but high unemployment is likely to keep inflation under control, allowing the Federal Reserve to continue pumping money into the economy.

But parties in Washington "are miles apart and that's really disappointing", he said. It was at 0.57 percent just on Monday.

France's CAC 40 dropped 1.8%, while Germany's DAX lost 0.9%.

USD/CAD fell 0.2% to 1.3221, posting a four-day decline.

Due later today are reports on Retail Sales (+2% on month in July expected), Industrial Production (+3% on month in July expected), and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (August preliminary reading at 71.9 expected). Hong Kong's Hang Seng dipped 0.2% after gyrating earlier in the day, while stocks in Shanghai gained 1.2%.

Oil prices slid 32 cents to $42.35 USA a barrel. Brent crude oil fell 11 cents to $45.32 a barrel.