S&P 500 ends down slightly after flirting with record levels again
By Caroline Valetkevitch (Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Thursday after briefly trading above its record closing high level for a second day, and the Dow also fell in the wake of a disappointing forecast from Cisco Systems Inc . The S&P 500 during the session broke above its record high closing level of 3,386.15 from Feb. 19, just before investors sold shares in anticipation of what proved to be the biggest slump in the U.S.
By Caroline Valetkevitch
(Reuters) - The S&P 500 ended slightly lower on Thursday after briefly trading above its record closing high level for a second day, and the Dow also fell in the wake of a disappointing forecast from Cisco Systems Inc
The S&P 500 during the session broke above its record high closing level of 3,386.15 from Feb. 19, just before investors sold shares in anticipation of what proved to be the biggest slump in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression. Its intraday record high of 3,393.52 was also set on Feb. 19.
A slump in Cisco Systems weighed on the Dow and S&P 500 after the company forecast first-quarter revenue and profit below estimates.
Concern about corporate outlooks has continued despite a mostly stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings season.
"The outlook for earnings in the next few quarters seems to be getting watered down by a lot of big companies," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"It's making for a sluggish market without a real catalyst to push it up and over the hurdle for good," he said.
Also limiting bearishness, jobless claims fell below 1 million for the first time since efforts to curb the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States began five months ago.
Wall Street has recovered most of the trillions in market capitalization lost during the start of the pandemic and the Nasdaq was the first of the three major indexes to hit a record high in June. The Dow remains below its February peak.
Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 80.12 points, or 0.29%, to 27,896.72, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 6.9 points, or 0.20%, to 3,373.45 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 29.27 points, or 0.27%, to 11,041.51.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased to 963,000 for the week ended Aug. 8, the lowest level since mid-March. But the expiration of a $600 weekly jobless supplement at the end of July likely contributed to the decline.
Data last week showed the economy has regained only 9.3 million jobs of the 22 million jobs lost between February and April, indicating a long road to reach pre-pandemic levels.
Investors continue to hold on to hopes Democrats and the White House can reach agreement on a stimulus package to help the economy recover. Unemployment benefits have been a sticking point in their talks.
The U.S. presidential election is expected to add another layer of uncertainty into markets, with roughly 12 weeks remaining until Election Day.
(Additional reporting by Ambar Warrick and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur, Uttaresh.V and Tom Brown)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.