Stocks Open Lower After Jobless Claims
By Joe Wallace
U.S. stocks wobbled Thursday as major indexes paused for
investors to parse another batch of earnings and data on the labor
The S&P 500 slipped 0.1% in early trading. The Dow Jones
Industrial Average fell 0.2%, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq
Composite Index added less than 0.1%.
Stocks jumped on Wednesday, erasing most of their losses from
earlier in the week. Many investors remain upbeat about the outlook
for shares, but are growing concerned that a surge in coronavirus
cases globally could delay plans to reopen economic activity. India
on Thursday reported the world's biggest one-day rise in new
"It wouldn't take much news for [investors] to start ripping up
their reopening playbook," said Christopher Jeffery, head of
inflation and rates strategy at Legal & General Investment
Management. "The market has gone from a world of not questioning it
to starting to question it," he said, adding that his team is
following the rise in cases in Michigan closely.
Earnings season continues apace. Intel and Snap are among
companies scheduled to report results after markets close.
Ahead of the opening bell, shares of Equifax jumped more than
8%. The credit-reporting agency late Wednesday raised financial
projections for the year and said it expects to buy back more than
$100 million worth of stock.
Blackstone Group shares gained 4.7% after the private-equity
firm swung to a record profit of $1.75 billion in the first
On the economic front, worker filings for jobless claims reached
another Covid-19 low of 547,000 last week. The decline is a sign
the labor market is strengthening.
Bond yields steadied. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield ticked up
to 1.570% from 1.566% Wednesday. Yields, which move in the opposite
direction to bond prices, have fallen from a high of 1.749% in late
Jason Borbora-Sheen, multiasset portfolio manager at Ninety One,
said he expects the broad stock market to trend sideways or decline
over the next few months. "Things have become quite overbought," he
One of the two funds Mr. Borbora-Sheen manages has bought put
options to protect against downward moves in stocks. Puts are
contracts that pay out if the underlying asset falls below a
In overseas markets, shares of tech and utility companies led
the Stoxx Europe 600 up 0.4%.
Shares of Credit Suisse Group fell over 4% after the Swiss
lender said it would issue new shares after losses from Archegos
Capital Management wiped out a strong first quarter. Renault shares
lost 1.6% after the French car maker said revenue fell in the first
The European Central Bank left its key interest rates and
bond-buying programs unchanged, seeking to maintain support for
governments and companies through a new round of coronavirus
infections and restrictions. The euro edged up 0.2% to $1.2052.
Turkey's lira dropped 1% to trade at 8.27 per dollar. The latest
slide in the currency came after U.S. officials said President
Biden is poised to declare that the massacres of Armenians in the
early 20th century constituted genocide, a step that would further
inflame ties with Ankara.
In Asia, chemical and pharmaceutical stocks helped Japan's
Nikkei 225 climb 2.4% by the close. China's Shanghai Composite
Index ticked down 0.2%.
Write to Joe Wallace at Joe.Wallace@wsj.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 22, 2021 09:48 ET (13:48 GMT)
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