Markets

Nasdaq Showing Notable Advance But Dow Posting Modest Loss

(RTTNews) - While strength among tech stocks has contributed to a notable advance by the Nasdaq, the Dow and the S&P 500 have spent Thursday's session bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

Currently, the major averages continue to turn in a mixed performance. The Nasdaq is up 63.97 points or 0.8 percent at 8,183.76 and the S&P 500 is up 7.25 points or 0.2 percent at 3,011.77, but the Dow is down 22.55 points or 0.1 percent at 26,811.40.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is benefiting from a positive reaction to earnings news Microsoft (MSFT), with the software giant up by 2.2 percent.

After the close of trading on Wednesday, Microsoft reported quarterly results that exceeded analyst estimates, boosted by cloud and Office revenues.

Electric car maker Tesla (TSLA) is also posting a standout gain on the day after reporting an unexpected third quarter profit.

Meanwhile, shares of Twitter (TWTR) have come under pressure after the social media giant reported weaker than expected third quarter results and provided disappointing guidance.

A steep drop by shares of 3M (MMM) is weighing on the day after the diversified manufacturer reported third quarter earnings that beat estimates but lowered its full-year earnings outlook.

Traders are also reacting to a slew of U.S. economic data, including a report from the Commerce Department showing a steep drop in orders for transportation equipment contributed to a bigger than expected decrease in durable goods orders in the month of September.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders tumbled by 1.1 percent in September after rising by a revised 0.3 percent in August.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to decline by 0.8 percent compared to the 0.2 percent uptick that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding the nosedive in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders dipped by 0.3 percent in September after climbing by 0.3 percent in August. Ex-transportation orders had expected to edge down by 0.2 percent.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed new home sales pulled back in September after a sharp increase in the previous month.

The report said new home sales slid by 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 701,000 in September after spiking by 6.2 percent to a revised rate of 706,000 in August.

Economists had expected slump by 1.7 percent to a rate of 701,000 from the 713,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department released a report showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 19th.

The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 212,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level of 218,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000 from the 214,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Sector News

Gold stocks have moved sharply higher over the course of trading session, driving the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index up by 2.5 percent.

The spike by gold stocks comes amid an increase by the price of the precious metal, as gold for December delivery is climbing $7.50 to $1,503.20 an ounce.

The upbeat earnings news from Microsoft has also contributed to a rally by software stocks, with the Dow Jones U.S. Software Index surging up by 2.4 percent.

Semiconductor stocks are also seeing considerable strength, rebounding following the steep drop seen in the previous session. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index is up by 2.1 percent after tumbling by 1.9 percent on Wednesday.

On the other hand, substantial weakness remains visible among oil service stocks, as reflected by the 2.5 percent slump by the Philadelphia Oil Service Index. The sell-off comes despite an increase by the price of crude oil.

Networking stocks also continue to see notable weakness in mid-day trading, with the NYSE Arca Networking Index down by 1.7 percent.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.6 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index advanced by 0.9 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index jumped by 0.9 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index both rose by 0.6 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are seeing modest strength after showing a lack of direction earlier in the session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.4 basis points at 1.745 percent.

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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