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Thursday's Market Wrap: Stocks Record Small Losses

Dollar General Corporation NYSE:DG, Guess?, Inc. NYSE:GES - Thursday's Market Wrap: Stocks Record Small Losses

The U.S. stock market recorded small losses on Thursday as the major averages have pulled back slightly from all-time high levels. Most sectors were actually positive on the session, but losses in healthcare and consumer cyclicals dragged the broader market lower.

Gainers on the day included Guess?, Inc. GES 22.15%, which surged 22 percent after a strong earnings report. Rackspace Hosting, Inc. RAX 9.58% added almost 10 percent on the session, possible on buyout rumors. Losers included Dollar General Corp. DG 17.63%, which lost almost 18 percent after disappointing earnings results, and Signet Jewelers Ltd. SIG 12.63%, which lost a little less than 13 percent on the day.

Major Averages

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 33 points or 0.18 percent, to close at 18,448.

The S&P 500 shed 3 points, or 0.14 percent, to finish at 2,172.

The Nasdaq registered a decline of 5 points, or 0.11 percent, to 5,212.

Initial Jobless Claims

Initial jobless claims for the week of August 20 were 261,000, which compared to consensus estimates of 265,000 and showed a small decline from the 262,000 jobless claims reported in the prior week.

Continuing Claims

Continuing jobless claims for the week of August 13 were 2.145 million, down from the 2.175 million reported in the prior week.

Durable Orders

Durable orders rose 4.4 percent for the month of July versus consensus estimates calling for a gain of 3.5 percent. In the prior month, orders for durable goods had fallen 4.2 percent. Excluding transportation, durable orders rose 1.5 percent in the month, better than the consensus calling for a gain of 0.4 percent.

Commodities

The commodity complex largely unchanged on Thursday. The Bloomberg Commodity Index declined just 0.2 percent on the session. Other commodity indices were actually higher on the day.

NYMEX crude oil futures climbed 1.18 percent to $47.32 while Brent contracts added 1.24 percent to $49.66. Natural gas futures added 1.57 percent on Thursday to $2.84.

Precious metals were marginally lower on Thursday. COMEX gold futures lost 0.32 percent to $1,325.50. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF GLD 0.09% lost 0.07 percent to $126.23. Silver futures shed 0.27 percent to $18.51. The iShares Silver Trust ETF SLV 0.06% closed the equity session up 0.06 percent to $17.63.

In the grains complex, corn and wheat were both lower during Thursday's trading session. Corn futures fell 1.26 percent to $3.3200 and wheat contracts shed 0.59 percent to $4.2375 per bushel.

Bonds

Treasury prices fell on Thursday. At the close of equity trading, the iShares Barclays 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF TLT 0.38% was down 0.38 percent to $139.17.

Treasury yields were as follows on Thursday afternoon: The yield on the 2-Year Note was 0.78 percent. The 5-Year Note was yielding 1.16 percent. The 10-Year Note was last yielding 1.58 percent while the 30-Year Bond yield was 2.27 percent.

Currencies

The U.S. Dollar was unchanged on Thursday. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish ETF UUP, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of foreign currencies, finished the day flat at $24.50. The closely watched EUR/USD pair rose 0.14 percent to 1.1280 euros.

Volatility and Volume

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was slightly higher on the day, closing up 1.49 percent to 13.65. The 52-week range in the VIX is 11.02 to 53.29, so volatility levels remain near one-year lows.

Volume remained on the light side on Thursday. Around 60 million shares of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY 0.07% trading hands versus a 3-month daily average of 88.7 million shares. Trading in the PowerShares QQQ Trust QQQ 0.16% was actually above average for the first time in weeks on Thursday. Around 22.7 million QQQ shares traded hands compared to a 3-month daily average of 21.5 million.

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