U.S. Stocks Pause After Seven-Session Run Higher
--Stock futures little changed after jobless claims data
--Europe markets slip amid disappointing industrial production data; Asia mostly higher
--Jobless claims fall steeply with two states missing from the data
By Kaitlyn Kiernan and Tomi Kilgore
NEW YORK--U.S. stocks edged lower Thursday in a sign that investors may be pausing after a seven-session run higher to
assess events surrounding Syria and the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting next week.
The Labor Department reported that the number of new jobless claims fell to the lowest level since 2006 last week, but
attributed much of the decline to missing claims from two states.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 11 points, or 0.1%, to 15316. On Wednesday, the Dow rallied 136 points, to
bring its three-day total gain to 404 points, the biggest three-day gain since Jan. 3.
S&P 500 index fell three points, or 0.2%, to 1686, while the Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 10 points, or 0.3%, to
3715. The S&P 500 stretched its win streak to seven sessions Wednesday.
Initial claims for jobless benefits in the latest week fell to 292,000, well below expectations for a rise to 330,000.
The Labor Department said two states made changes to their computer systems that resulted in some claims not being
processed in time.
Meanwhile, import prices were unchanged in August. Economists had expected a gain of 0.5%.
The flat reading on import prices suggests inflation remains under control, "giving the Fed greater leeway" in its
decision next week on whether to begin reducing its economic-stimulus measures, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief
investment officer at OakBrook Investments in Lisle, Ill., which oversees about $3.5 billion.
The Fed will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday next week to discuss the state of the U.S. economy and the fate of the
central bank's $85-billion-a-month asset purchasing program.
At 2 p.m. EDT, the federal budget for August is expected to show a deficit of $150 billion.
The market has been boosted recently by a combination of reduced tensions over Syria, improving economic data out of
Europe and China and expectations that the Federal Reserve won't be as aggressive in winding down stimulus measures as
previously thought, given recent lackluster employment data.
John Sawyer, chief investment officer at BBVA Compass, said the market is in a holding pattern as investors assess
reduced tension over Syria and the Fed's next policy-setting meeting next week. He said he doesn't expect any large
market reaction even if the Fed decides to pare back on bond purchases, as he believes the market has been well
"There doesn't seem to be this sentiment of uncertainty over what the Fed might do," Mr. Sawyer said. "The Fed has
continued to do a good job of managing expectations of what their future path will be."
European markets slipped after data showing euro-zone industrial production in July fell 1.5% on the month, compared
with expectations of a 0.1% rise. The Stoxx Europe 600 edged higher, rising less than 0.1% above Wednesday's five-year
Asian markets were mostly higher, backed by a strong U.S. session on Wednesday, with China's Shanghai Composite rising
0.6% to a three-month high. Japan's Nikkei, however, eased 0.3% as a strengthening of the yen weighed on exporter
Front-month October crude oil futures added 0.4% to $108.03 a barrel, while September gold futures fell 1.6% to $1,342
an ounce amid. The dollar lost ground against the yen but edged higher against the euro.
In corporate news, Apple edged up 0.2% after dropping 7.6% over the past two sessions amid disappointment over the new
product launches. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn said on CNBC Wednesday he increased his position in Apple
because he believed the stock was cheap.
Advanced Micro Devices fell 2.9% after S&P Dow Jones Indices said the semiconductor maker's stock will be dropped from
the S&P 500 to the S&P Midcap 400. SAIC, which is also making the move down to the S&P Midcap 400, and Vertex
Pharmaceuticals and Ametek, which are moving up to the S&P 500, were still inactive ahead of the open.
Lululemon slumped 7% after the maker of yoga gear provided a fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue outlook that
was below current analyst projections, and trimmed its full-year outlook, overshadowing better-than-expected second-
Pandora Media jumped 10% after naming Brian McAndrews, a former aQuantive and Microsoft executive, as its chief
executive and chairman, a move that comes six months after Joe Kennedy said he would be stepping down from the Internet-
radio firm's helm.
SeaWorld Entertainment rose 7.9% after reporting revenue and admissions through August in the current fiscal year have
risen from year-earlier levels, growing during the critical summer season despite some challenging weather conditions.
Write to Kaitlyn Kiernan at Kaitlyn.Kiernan.wsj.com and Tomi Kilgore at firstname.lastname@example.org
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