The Dow Jones Industrial Average was higher in early trading after strong labor reports while the Nasdaq fell on declines at Facebook and Amazon.
Initial jobless claims in the US were near a 49-year low of 203,000 in the week that ended on Sept. 1, down 10,000 from seven days earlier and beating consensus from Econoday for 213,000, the Labor Department said in a report on Thursday. The four-week moving average was down by 2,750 to 209,500. Both readings were the lowest level since Dec. 6, 1969, the department said.
Automatic Data Processing said in a monthly private that employers added 163,000 jobs in August, down from 219,000 the prior month and analyst expectations for 182,000.
Declines in share prices at Facebook (FB), down 2.1%, and Twitter (TWTR), off by almost 4% weighed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey spoke to lawmakers yesterday, asking questions about the social media platforms’ role in election rigging.
Stock prices are also being pressured by the ongoing and potentially escalating trade war between the US and China. The end of a public comment period in the US concerning tariffs on another $200 billion worth of Chinese goods came and went Wednesday, but investors fear the duties will be implemented, which would likely lead to retaliation from Beijing.
Oil was higher with US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude up 0.2% on Thursday and global standard Brent futures 0.5% higher. Gold is up 0.7% in risk-off trade and silver gained 0.2%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1% while the S&P 500 declined 0.5% and the Nasdaq composite lost 0.7% in early trading.
Globally, the FTSE fell 0.4%, the Nikkei was down 0.4%, the Shanghai composite lost 0.5% and Hang Seng index dropped 0.1%.