Mid-Day Update: U.S. Stocks Extend Slump After Rising CPI, Falling Home-Builders' Optimism Weigh on Equities

U.S. stocks were lower in mid-day trade following a pair of downbeat economic reports, including builder confidence falling to its lowest level in nearly a year and consumer prices posting another rise. But separate reports Thursday finding first-time jobless claims falling to a seven-year low and improving manufacturing activity in New York state and surrounding areas had little positive impact on shares.

The April consumer price index rose 0.3% from March, as expected, according to Econoday data. Excluding food and energy, prices were 0.2% higher over March levels, topping the expected 0.1% gain.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo survey reported that builder confidence in newly constructed, single-family homes fell to a 45 reading, trailing expectations for a 48 score this month and falling below the previous low-water mark for the index, which was a 46 reading just last month.

Weekly jobless claims fell to 297,000, the Labor Department reported today, beating the market consensus looking for 317,000 first-time claims. Meanwhile, the Empire State manufacturing index for May jumped to a 19.01 reading compared to the 5.00 consensus.

Crude oil is down 0.69% to $101.66 per barrel. Natural gas was up 2.7% to $4.49 per 1 million BTU. Gold for June delivery was down 0.48% to $1,299.40 an ounce, while silver was down 1.06% to $19.58 an ounce. Copper for July deliver fell slightly to $3.15 a pound.

Among energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund was down 0.4% to $37.04, with the United States Natural Gas Fund up 2.4% to $24.87. Amongst precious-metal funds, the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF was down 1.6% at $23.61 while SPDR Gold Shares were down 0.9% at $124.68. The iShares Silver Trust was down 1.4% at $18.73.

Here's where the markets stand at mid-day:

NYSE Composite Index is down 1.1% at 10,540.96

Dow Jones Industrial Index is down 1.1% at 16,435.12

S&P 500 down 1.18% at 1,866.06

Nasdaq Composite Index is down 1.3% at 4,046


FTSE 100 is down 0.58% at 6,838.68

DAX is down 1.11% at 9,646.08

CAC 40 is down 1.2% at 4,446.89

Nikkei 225 is down 0.75% at 14,298.21

Hang Seng Index is up 0.7% at 22,730.86

Shanghai China Composite Index is down 1.06% at 11.19


NYSE Energy Sector Index is down 1.34% at 15,420.45

NYSE Financial Sector Index is down 1.46% at 6,248.02

NYSE Healthcare Sector Index is down 0.86% at 10,930.94


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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