Stocks were mostly lower Wednesday, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed at record highs, and following weekly jobless claims that rose in consecutive weeks for the first time since the summer.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 164 points, or 0.55%, to 29,882, the S&P 500 declined 0.2% and the Nasdaq rose 0.38%.
Salesforce.com (CRM) – Get Report was down nearly 3% on a report from The Wall Street Journal that the company has been holding talks to buy Slack Technologies (WORK) – Get Report. Slack shares jumped 23.51%.
The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits rose to 778,000 in the week ended Nov. 21, up from a revised 748,000 the previous week and ahead of economists’ forecasts of 730,000.
“Total initial claims (non-seasonally adjusted) rose for the second week in a row, making both direction and magnitude a concern,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, Indeed Hiring Lab’s economist. “An uptick this far into the crisis underscores that the coronavirus continues to batter the economy, and the magnitude of initial claims shows no respite from new damage.
“Total weekly initial claims have still not yet fallen below 1 million at any point during the pandemic,” Konkel added.
The second reading on U.S. gross domestic product, meanwhile, came in at 33.1%, matching the initial estimate from last month, which was the best quarterly gain on record. Durable goods orders in October rose 1.3%, higher than consensus of 0.8%.
“We remain on fragile footing heading into the winter as cases continue to climb globally,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade. “And since the markets are forward looking, this data will likely be taken in stride. The markets tend to cheer on certainty so the presidential transition and vaccine developments are two factors it’s latched onto lately.”
Stocks finished higher Tuesday and the Dow closed above 30,000 for the first time as President-elect Joe Biden was given the go-ahead to formally begin his transition and Wall Street bet on more fiscal stimulus as reports said former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen would be nominated for Treasury secretary.
U.S. stock markets will be closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will close at 1 p.m. ET on Friday.
Gap (GPS) – Get Report was sinking 20.34% Wednesday after sales at the retailer’s namesake brand and Banana Republic dropped sharply in the third quarter.