Stock market news today: Dow, S&P 500 fall on jobless claims jump

  • US stocks slid Thursday as weekly jobless claims posted a surprise jump, climbing back above 1 million after two straight periods of decline.
  • Investors also weighed stalled talks on the next coronavirus stimulus package, as Democrats and Republicans remain deadlocked. 
  • The Federal Reserve on Wednesday released minutes from its last meeting, showing that the group thinks the recovery from the pandemic recession requires more government support
  • Read more on Business Insider.

US stocks fell Thursday as weekly jobless claims posted a surprise increase, signaling a slowdown in the ongoing economic recovery.

New US weekly jobless claims totaled 1.1 million in the week that ended Saturday, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That came in well above the consensus economist estimate of 920,000 million compiled by Bloomberg and snapped a two-week streak of declines.

“This is a temporary setback, as COVID-19 levels are still high but dropping, and re-openings continue, though at a slower pace given COVID-19’s surge in July,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.  “It underscores the economy is fighting in the trenches with COVID-19.” 

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET market open on Thursday:

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The labor-market report comes as investors are waiting for signs that the next round of coronavirus aid will move forward in Washington. Democrats and Republicans have not come to any agreement, leaving the potential bill deadlocked. 

Thursday’s declines follow a late-day sell-off on Wednesday, triggered by Federal Reserve minutes that showed the group thinks the recovery from the pandemic recession requires more government support

“The fact that the Fed appeared reluctant to step up further stimulus efforts imminently, disappointed the bulls who were expecting further clues on the trajectory of monetary policy,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM. 

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Earnings season continued. Shares of Nvidia slumped even after blowout earnings that beat expectations when the company signaled that its data center business may see slower growth in the future. Competitor Intel’s stock gained after it announced an accelerated program to buy back $10 billion of its own stock. 

Oil fell after OPEC and the Fed said the recovery from the pandemic recession is taking longer than anticipated. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped as much as 2.3%, to $41.95 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 2.4%, to $44.30 per barrel, at intraday lows. 

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