Dow Bounces Into Positive Territory, Nasdaq Remains Firmly Negative

After moving to the downside early in the session, the major U.S. stocks indexes have turned mixed over the course of the trading day on Thursday. While the tech-heavy Nasdaq has slid more firmly into the red, the Dow has rebounded into positive territory.

Currently, the Nasdaq is down 134.47 points or 0.9 percent at 15,652.52 and the S&P 500 is down 9.63 points or 0.2 percent at 4,691.58. Meanwhile, the Dow is up 46.88 points or 0.1 percent at 35,801.63 after falling by more than 175 points in early trading.

The early pullback on Wall Street came as traders cashed in on the recent strength in the markets, which saw stocks recover strongly from the post-Thanksgiving sell-off triggered by the detection of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

With concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant easing, traders are now looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement next week.

Reports suggest the Fed could decide to double the pace of tapering its asset purchase program to $30 billion per month.

A report on consumer price inflation due to be released on Friday could impact the outlook for Fed policy, leading some traders to look for safe havens ahead of the data.

The Labor Department released a report this morning showing first-time claims pulled back by much more than expected in the week ended December 4.

The report said initial jobless claims slid to 184,000, a decrease of 43,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 227,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 215,000 from the 222,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the bigger than expected decrease, jobless claims dropped to their lowest level since hitting 182,000 in September of 1969.

Sector News

Gold stocks continue to see substantial weakness in afternoon trading, resulting in a 3.1 percent nosedive by the NYSE Arca Gold Bugs Index.

The sell-off by gold stocks comes amid a decrease by the price of the precious metal, with gold for February delivery falling $9.50 to $1,776 an ounce.

Considerable weakness also remains visible among tobacco stocks, as reflected by the 1.4 percent drop by the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index.

On the other hand, networking stocks have show a substantial move to the upside, driving the NYSE Arca Networking Index up by 2.6 percent to a new record intraday high.

Ciena (CIEN) is leading the networking sector higher after reporting better than expected fiscal fourth quarter revenues and providing upbeat guidance.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index fell by 0.5 percent, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index jumped by 1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets all moved modestly lower on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index edged down by 0.1 percent, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index dipped by 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground after moving sharply lower over the past few sessions. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.5 basis points at 1.494 percent.

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