New claims for unemployment at regular state-run programs rose by 135,000 in the week ended August 15 to 1.1 million. Initial claims for unemployment were 970,000 in the prior week. Economists had expected that initial claims would drop to 920,000 this week.
Wall Street seems determined to pooh-pool the number today, wth Wall Street economists saying that the improving trend in the job market remains intact and that today’s increase is just the labor market bouncing around from week-to-week, in the worlds of Brett Ryan, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank. “The trend remains intact.”
This week’s initial claims report coincides with the survey period for the government’s monthly employment report for August due for release, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics web site, on September 4.
As of 2 p.m. New York time the Standard & Poor’s 500 was ahead 0.15% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gained 0.08%.
What’s most indicative of this market, however, is the comparative performance of the NASDAQ Composite index, stuffed with big technology stocks, and the Russell 2000 small cap index, reflective of the U.S. domestic economy. The NASDAQ Composite had gained 0.73% and the Russell 2000 was down 0.52%.
If not for the performance of the usual suspects–giant cap tech stocks–the wider indexes would be down today.
Shares of Alphabet (GOOG) were up 1.40%; Amazon (AMZN) had climbed 1.03%; Apple (AAPL) was ahead 1.45%: Microsoft (MSFT) had gained 1.75%.
In contrast, shares of consumer stocks–and especially shares of re-opening dependent stocks–were lower. American Airlines (AAL) was down 0.84% and Six Flags (SIX) was off 1.32%
Bank shares also slipped with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) down 0.82% and Wells Fargo (WFC) lower by 1.27%.
Tech stocks led the indexes even higher at the close with the S&P 500 up 0.32% and the NASDAQ Composite up .06%.
For the day, Alphabet (GOOG) closed up 2.2%, Apple was ahead 2.22%, Facebook gained 2.44%, and Microsoft moved ahead 2.34%.
The Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) closed up 1.33% while the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) ended down 0.94%.