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US Stock Market Overview – Stocks Slip on Weak Jobless Claims Data

Housing sales drop
David Becker

US stocks were lower on Thursday as stocks took a break from their mid-week rally. Some of the drivers like Facebook and Amazon, which made fresh highs on Thursday, eased slightly into the close. Retail stocks were solid performers on Thursday as better than expected financial results buoyed the discretionary sector. Most sectors in the S&P 500 index were lower, led down by technology, cyclical bucked the trend. Initial jobless claims came out higher than expected while existing home sales tumbled in April. The Chinese tif with the United States continues to grow. Senators look to pass a bipartisan bill that would force Chinese firms to admit they are not controlled by the Chinese government for them to list their shares on a US exchange. The US pledge 1-billion dollars to AstraZeneca to help the company create a vaccine and distribute it.

Jobless Claims Rise

New Jobless Claims in the US  totaled 2.44 million last week according to the labor department. Expectations were for a rise of 2.4 million. Last week’s numbers were revised lower from 2.98 million to 2.69 million. In the nine weeks since the coronavirus-induced lockdown has closed large parts of the U.S. economy, some 38.6 million workers have filed claims.

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Existing Home Sales Tumble

The US Existing home sales fell 17.8% month over month, and were down 17.2% year over year according to the National Association of Realtors. That puts the annualized pace at 4.33 million units, the slowest sales rate since September 2011. The supply of homes for sale fell 19.7% annually to 1.47 million units for sale at the end of April. That is the lowest April inventory figure ever.

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