S&P 500 dips but index not far from record levels

The S&P 500 eased in afternoon trading on Thursday after briefly trading above its record closing high level for a second day, with the Dow also falling in the wake of a disappointing forecast from Cisco Systems Inc .

The S&P 500 earlier broke above its record closing high of 3,386.15 from Feb. 19. Its intraday record high of 3,393.52 was also set on Feb. 19.

But an 11.6% slump in Cisco Systems Inc weighed on the Dow and S&P 500 after the company forecast first-quarter revenue and profit below estimates.

Apple Inc rose 1.4% to about $458.38, helping to support the Nasdaq.

Jobless claims fell below 1 million for the first time since efforts to curb the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States began five months ago.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased to 963,000 for the week ended Aug. 8, the lowest level since mid-March. But the expiration of a $600 weekly jobless supplement at the end of July likely contributed to the decline.

Data last week showed the economy has regained only 9.3 million jobs of the 22 million jobs lost between February and April, indicating a long road to reach pre-pandemic levels.

But Wall Street has recovered most of the trillions in market capitalization lost during the start of the pandemic and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was the first of the three major indexes to hit a record high in June. The Dow remains below its February peak.

“The outlook for earnings in the next few quarters seems to be getting watered down by a lot of big companies,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“It’s making for a sluggish market without a real catalyst to push it up and over the hurdle for good,” he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 135.44 points, or 0.48%, to 27,841.4, the S&P 500 lost 11.98 points, or 0.35%, to 3,368.37 and the Nasdaq Composite added 14.74 points, or 0.13%, to 11,026.98.

Markets continue to hold on to hopes the Democrats and the White House can reach agreement on a stimulus package to help the economy recover. Unemployment benefits have been a sticking point in their talks.

The U.S. presidential election is expected to add another layer of uncertainty into markets, with roughly 12 weeks remaining until Election Day.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc jumped 14.0 after the firm said it will start its first phase of reopening theaters in the United States from Aug. 20, covering more than 100 venues.

Tapestry Inc fell 2.2% even as it beat quarterly sales estimates.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.61-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.34-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 13 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 60 new highs and 16 new lows.

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(Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Uttaresh.V and Tom Brown)

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor


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