Investing.com - U.S. stocks traded mixed to lower on Thursday as
investors took a largely positive batch of economic indicators in
stride and jumped to the sidelines ahead of the release of April's
jobs report on Friday.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow 30 fell 0.13%, the S&P
500 index fell 0.01%, while the NASDAQ Composite index rose
The Department of Labor reported earlier that the number of
individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week rose by
14,000 to 344,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised total
Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to
Offsetting the disappointing jobless claims figures, the
Commerce Department reported earlier that U.S. personal spending
rose 0.9% in March from an upwardly revised 0.5% the previous
month, beating expectations of 0.6%.
Consumer spending is the single biggest component of U.S.
economic growth, accounting for as much as two-thirds of economic
The report added that personal income rose 0.5%, beating
expectations for a 0.4% increase.
Separately, the Institute for Supply Management said its
manufacturing PMI rose to 54.9 last month from 53.7 in March,
outpacing expectations for a 54.3 reading.
Still, investors shrugged off the largely positive data and
jumped to the sidelines ahead of the April jobs report on
Gains in recent sessions also sent many stocks to levels ripe
for profit taking.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Merck
& Company Inc (NYSE:MRK), up 1.79%, Visa Inc (NYSE:V), up
1.70%, and 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), up 1.23%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included
International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), down 1.51%, United
Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), down 1.31%, and Microsoft
Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), down 1.03%.
European markets, meanwhile, were closed on holiday.
On Friday, stocks will react to the U.S. April jobs report.
Elsewhere, the U.S. is to issue a separate report on factory
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