U.S. stocks edged lower Thursday, losing ground as investors weighed another round of corporate earnings and looked ahead to a key reading on jobs.What’s happening
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
was down 47 points, or 0.1%, at 32,765.
The S&P 500
shed 3 points, or 0.1%, to trade at 4,152.
The Nasdaq Composite
was up 3 points, or less than 0.1%, at 12,670.
Stocks bounded back sharply Wednesday after back-to-back losses. The Dow jumped 416.33 points, or 1.3%, while the S&P 500 rose 1.6% and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 2.6%.
What’s driving the market Stocks were drifting lower after data showed first-time claims for U.S. jobless benefits rose by 6,000 to 260,000 in the week ended July 30. Investors were seen largely looking past Thursday’s data ahead of the July employment report due Friday. “With the jobs report coming tomorrow, today’s slight uptick in jobless claims isn’t likely to be a major market nor Fed mover. Investors will be waiting to see if the labor market can withstand the Fed’s rate-hike campaign as well as it did in June,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director for investment strategy at E-Trade from Morgan Stanley, in emailed comments. “Remember that while jobless claims have been slowly rising, the labor market remains robust,” he wrote. Employment gains in July are expected to drop to 258,000 from 372,000 in the prior month, a poll of economists by The Wall Street Journal estimates. If so, it would mark the smallest increase since December 2021. See: Hiring slowdown? U.S. seen adding just 258,000 jobs in July Stocks were lifted Wednesday by data that showed resilience in the services sector and strong factory orders. Federal Reserve officials have continued to warn that achieving a so-called soft landing for the economy as they raise interest rates to battle inflation will be difficult. Market participants expect that the prospect of an economic slowdown will lead the Fed to slow interest rate hikes, with fed-funds futures markets pricing in rate cuts in 2023. “It’s worth noting that stock markets rallied on the signs of stronger-than-expected growth. This is significant because recently they’ve been rallying on signs of weaker growth, which would mean t …