Major Averages Turning In Mixed Performance Amid Volatile Session

wallstreet aug23 18nov21 lt

Stocks have fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Thursday, with the major averages showing wild swings back and forth across the unchanged line. The choppy trading on the day extends the relatively lackluster performance seen throughout the week.

Currently, the major averages are turning in a mixed performance. While the Dow is down 69.27 points or 0.2 percent at 35,861.78, the Nasdaq is up 41.51 points or 0.3 percent at 15,963.09 and the S&P 500 is up 10.94 points or 0.2 percent at 4,699.61.

The volatility on Wall Street comes as traders question whether stocks can continue to push to record highs amid elevated inflation and the possibility the Federal Reserve could accelerate plans to tighten monetary policy.

A steep drop by Cisco Systems (CSCO) is weighing on the Dow, with the networking giant down by 8 percent after hitting its lowest intraday level in almost six months.

The sell-off by Cisco comes after the company reported better than expected fiscal first quarter earnings but provided disappointing guidance.

On the other hand, strength among tech stocks is contributing to the uptick by the Nasdaq following strong results from chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA).

Shares of Nvidia are jumping by 7.6 percent after the company reported better than expected third quarter results and provided upbeat guidance.

Retailers Macy's (M), Kohl's (KSS) and BJ's Wholesale (BJ) have also moved to the upside after reporting quarterly results that exceeded analyst estimates.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits were nearly unchanged in the week ended November 13th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 268,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level of 269,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 260,000 from the 267,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the slight decrease and the revision to the previous week's number, jobless claims once again hit their lowest level since the week ended March 14, 2020.

A separate report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed a significant acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of November.

Sector News

Tobacco stocks have shown a substantial move to the downside on the day, resulting in a 2.8 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index.

Significant weakness also remains visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 2.7 percent slump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index. Earlier in the session, the index hit its lowest intraday level in almost two months.

The continued weakness among oil service stocks comes despite an increase by the price of crude oil, with crude for December delivery climbing $0.54 to $78.90 a barrel.

Gold stocks have also shown a notable move to the downside on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index down by 1.6 percent. A decrease by the price of gold is weighing on the sector.

On the other hand, retail and semiconductor stocks are seeing considerable strength on the heels of upbeat earnings news from the sectors.

The Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index are currently up by 1.6 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index slipped by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index fell by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both edged down by 0.2 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are extending the upward move seen over the course of the previous session. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 2 basis points at 1.584 percent.

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