With traders reacting to disappointing jobs data, stocks have moved moderately lower in early trading on Thursday. The major averages have slipped into negative territory, more than offsetting the modest gains posted in the previous session.
The early weakness on Wall Street comes on the heels of the release of a report from the Labor Department showing that jobless claims came in above estimates in the week ended September 15th.
While jobless claims edged down to 382,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 385,000, economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 373,000 from the 382,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Railroad stocks have shown a substantial move to the downside in early trading, dragging the Dow Jones Railroads Index down by 3.4 percent. Norfolk Southern (NSC) is leading the sector lower after warning of weaker than expected third quarter earnings.
Significant weakness has also emerged among brokerage stocks, as reflected by the 2 percent loss being posted by the NYSE Arca Broker/Dealer Index. Jefferies (JEF) is posting a steep loss despite reporting better than expected third quarter results.
Steel, oil service, and gold stocks have also come under pressure, moving to the downside along with most of the major sectors.
The major averages have not seen much follow-through on their initial downward move but remain firmly in the red. The Dow is down 38.90 points or 0.3 percent at 13,539.06, the Nasdaq is down 18.14 points or 0.6 percent at 3,164.48 and the S&P 500 is down 7.56 points or 0.5 percent at 1,453.49.
by RTT Staff Writer
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