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Stock Market Trades Mixed On Rising Jobless Claims; Oil & Gas Continue To Fall

Stock market closes mixed Thursday after jobless claims rose and oil prices slid below $90 per barrel. The energy sector took the hardest hit, dropping the S&P sector to two-week lows.


The Nasdaq composite closed 0.4% higher while the S&P 500 lost 0.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3%.

Volume fell on the Nasdaq and rose on the NYSE vs. the same time on Wednesday, according to early data. The small-cap Russell 2000 index closed 0.1% lower.

Initial jobless claims rose to 260,000, up 6,000 from last week. The increase was in line with analysts’ expectations.

U.S. Stock Market Today Overview

Index Symbol Price Gain/Loss % Change
Dow Jones (0DJIA) 32727.19 -85.31 -0.26
S&P 500 (0S&P5) 4152.02 -3.15 -0.08
Nasdaq (0NDQC ) 12720.58 +52.42 +0.41
Russell 2000 (IWM) 189.51 -0.24 -0.13
IBD 50 (FFTY) 28.93 +0.10 +0.35
Last Update: 4:14 PM ET 8/4/2022

“A recession isn’t guaranteed at this point but it’s looking more likely than not,” said Bill Adams, chief economist for Comerica Bank. “There are just too many headwinds to the U.S. economy. While gas and diesel prices are down from their June peaks, they are still way up from a year ago, a huge blow to consumer confidence and spending power that is weighing on spending. This is hitting especially hard the formerly-essential retailers who saw demand boom in 2020 and 2021.”

Stock Market Torn Between Cheaper Gas And Rising Joblessness

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield continued to slide on Thursday, falling eight basis points to 2.66%. Crude oil sold off for the second day, hitting $88.33 per barrel. Oil prices are now trading lower than the period just before Russia attacked Ukraine in February.

The average price of gasoline fell to $4.139 per gallon, according to AAA.

The Energy Select Sector ETF (XLE) closed down 3.7%, making it the worst performing S&P sector on Thursday.

Green Brick Partners (GRBK) soared 13.7% after easily beating earnings and sales estimates for the second quarter. The residential homebuilder’s stock is carving a giant cup that’s approaching a 32.35 buy point.

Axcelis Technologies (ACLS) shares jumped more than 8% after the semiconductor equipment maker crushed Wall Street’s targets for the second quarter. It also guided higher for the current quarter and full year.

ACLS stock is approaching an 83.83 buy point while forming a cup base, according to IBD MarketSmith charts.

July Jobs Report On Tap

Looking ahead, the July nonfarm payrolls report will be released at 8:30 am on Friday.

FactSet estimates that 250,000 jobs were created during the month, down from 372,000 in June. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain steady at 3.6% while hourly earnings rise 0.3% month-over-month.

Natural Gas Plays Gain On Stock Market Earnings

LNG stocks Cheniere Energy (LNG) and New Fortress Energy (NFE) posted mixed earnings on Thursday, both missing EPS estimates while beating revenue guidance.

NFE shares fell 1.1% while LNG closed 0.8% lower. New Fortress is building a cup base with a buy point of 52.47. The stock has a rising relative strength line and support from its 50-day moving average.

E-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) rose 1.8% after beating estimates as the company recovered from China lockdowns. Earnings of $1.75 per share on $30.7 billion in revenue came in above expectations.

Walmart (WMT) announced that it will cut 200 corporate jobs after June inflation hurt sales across several profitable segments. The stock fell 3.7%.

The Innovator IBD 50 ETF (FFTY) gained 0.3%, with help from Axcelis and Green Brick.

Follow Michael Molinski on Twitter @IMmolinski


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