US STOCKS-S&P 500 dips but index not far from record levels

US STOCKS-S&P 500 dips but index not far from record levels

Reuters  | Aug 14, 2020 03:20

US STOCKS-S&P 500 dips but index not far from record levels

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* Weekly unemployment claims fall below 1 million
* Cisco weighs on Dow following weak outlook
* Dow down 0.5%, S&P down 0.4%, Nasdaq up 0.1%

(Updates to late afternoon)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
Aug 13 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 eased in afternoon trading on
Thursday after briefly trading above its record closing high
level for a second day, with the Dow also falling in the wake of
a disappointing forecast from Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O .
The S&P 500 earlier broke above its record closing high of
3,386.15 from Feb. 19. Its intraday record high of 3,393.52 was
also set on Feb. 19.
But an 11.6% slump in Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O weighed on
the Dow and S&P 500 after the company forecast first-quarter
revenue and profit below estimates. Apple Inc AAPL.O rose 1.4% to about $458.38, helping to
support the Nasdaq. 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.
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.
But Wall Street has recovered most of the trillions in
market capitalization lost during the start of the pandemic and
the tech-heavy Nasdaq was the first of the three major indexes
to hit a record high in June. The Dow remains below its February
peak.
"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.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 135.44 points,
or 0.48%, to 27,841.4, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 11.98 points, or
0.35%, to 3,368.37 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 14.74
points, or 0.13%, to 11,026.98.
Markets continue to hold on to hopes the 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.
AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc AMC.N jumped 14.0 after the
firm said it will start its first phase of reopening theaters in
the United States from Aug. 20, covering more than 100 venues.
Tapestry Inc TPR.N fell 2.2% even as it beat quarterly
sales estimates. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a
1.61-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.34-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 13 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the
Nasdaq Composite recorded 60 new highs and 16 new lows.

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