Major Averages May Move In Opposite Directions In Early Trading

The major U.S. stock indexes may move in opposite directions in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a mixed open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 0.3 percent but the Nasdaq 100 futures up by 0.3 percent.

A notable decline by shares of Disney (DIS) may weigh on the Dow, as the entertainment giant is tumbling by 5.8 percent in pre-market trading.

The drop by Disney comes after the company reported fiscal second quarter earnings and revenue roughly in line with estimates but a decrease in streaming subscribers.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq may extend the rally seen in the previous session following the release of slightly tamer than expected production inflation data.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand inched up by 0.2 percent in April after falling by a revised 0.4 percent in March.

Economists had expected producer prices to rise by 0.3 percent compared to the 0.5 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.

The report also showed the annual rate of producer price growth slowed to 2.3 percent in April from 2.7 percent in March. The pace of growth was expected to slow to 2.4 percent.

The Labor Department also released a separate report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits climbed much more than expected in the week ended May 6th.

The report said initial jobless claims rose to 264,000, an increase of 22,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 242,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 245,000.

With the much bigger than expected advance, jobless claims reached their highest level since hitting a matching number in the week ended October 30, 2021.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also crept up to 245,250, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 239,250.

The four-week moving average reached its highest level since hitting 249,250 in the week ended November 20, 2021.

After failing to sustain an initial move to the upside, stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Wednesday. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq maintained a positive bias throughout the session, the S&P 500 spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.

The Nasdaq eventually showed a strong upward move on the day, jumping 126.89 points or 1.0 percent to 12,306.44. The S&P 500 also climbed 18.47 points or 0.5 percent to 4,137.64, while the narrower Dow bucked the uptrend and edged down 30.48 points or 0.1 percent to 33,531.33.

In overseas trading, most stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region closed modestly lower on Thursday, although Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index inched slightly higher. China’s Shanghai Composite Index slipped by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged down by 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a mixed performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index is up by 0.2 percent, the German DAX Index is down by 0.2 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.4 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are falling $0.41 to $72.15 a barrel after tumbling $1.15 to $72.56 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after edging down $5.80 to $2,037.10 ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $5.60 to $2,042.70 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 133.90 yen versus the 134.34 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0933 compared to yesterday’s $1.0982.

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