U.S. stock indexes fell on Thursday following the latest batch of quarterly corporate earnings reports, while data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week as expected.
The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 360,000 for the week ended July 10.
Wall Street's main indexes have swung in line with rising inflation since mid-June, with investors fretting over a sooner-than-expected hawkish shift by the Federal Reserve amid signs of a steady economic rebound.
"There is some concern that the economy has sort of reached the maximum level of growth," said Robert Pavlik, senior portfolio manager at Dakota Wealth in Fairfield, Connecticut.
"This will be a period of higher volatility and choppier markets."
Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sector indexes were trading lower, with technology falling 0.5% and set to snap a four-day winning streak.
On his first day of testimony before Congress, Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday said he was confident recent price hikes were associated with the country's post-pandemic reopening and would fade.
The "powerful support" pledge assuaged some concerns over inflation, helping the benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow end a choppy session with small gains on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the second-quarter earnings season began on a strong note this week, with the four largest U.S. lenders - Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) & Co, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) - posting a combined $33 billion in profits.
The S&P 500 banks index fell 0.8%, tracking a dip in bond yields. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) edged 0.4% lower even as it reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. [US/]
At 9:47 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 104.42 points, or 0.30%, at 34,828.81, the S&P 500 was down 13.19 points, or 0.30%, at 4,361.11 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 49.65 points, or 0.34%, at 14,595.30.
Nasdaq heavyweights Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Google owner Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) were trading flat to lower.
Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) added 1.2% after UBS raised its price target and the streaming giant hired a former Facebook executive to lead its video games unit to ramp up its efforts to grow beyond its traditional streaming business.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 2.42-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 2.66-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 13 new highs and 108 new lows. (Reuters)