U.S. stock markets closed higher on Thursday following a weak labor market data. Market participants are keenly waiting for two key inflation data to be released next week as well as the Fed’s FOMC meeting scheduled next week too. All three major stock indexes ended in positive territory.
How Did The Benchmarks Perform?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) gained 0.5% or 168.26 points to close at 33,833.28. Notably, 25 components of the 30-stock index ended in positive territory, while 5 in negative zone. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite finished at 13,238.52, advancing 1% or 133.63 points due to strong performance of large-cap technology stocks.
The S&P 500 was up 0.6% to end at 4,293.93, marking its highest close so far this year. The broad-market index exited the bear-market after gaining more than 20% on a closing-basis since from its recent low of 3,577.03 posted on Oct 12, 2022. The benchmark has formed a new bull market.
Seven out of 11 broad sectors of the benchmark index closed in positive territory while four in negative zone. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) rose 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively.
The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 2.1% to 13.65. At intraday low, marking the fear gauge’s lowest level on closing-basis since Feb 14, 2020. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.16-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.02-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues. The S&P 500 recorded122 new 52-week highs and two new 52-week lows while the Nasdaq registered 71 new 52-week highs and 43 new 52-week lows.
Weak Labor Market Data
The Department of Labor reported that weekly jobless claims increased by 28,000 to 261,000 for the week ended Jun 3, beating the consensus estimate of 236,000. This was the highest level of initial claims since the week ended Oct 30, 2021. The previous week’s data was revised upward by 1,000 to 233,000 from 232,000 reported earlier. The 4-week moving average was 37,250, an increase of 7,500 from the previous week's revised average.
Continuing claims — people who already received government unemployment benefit and run a week behind the headline number — came in at 1.757 million for the week ended May 27. This compares to a revised 1.794 million in the prior week. The 4-week moving average was 1,784,750, a decrease of 12,500 from the previous week's revised average.
Strong Earnings Results
Trip.com Group Ltd. TCOM came out with quarterly earnings of $0.45 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.27 per share. This compares to loss of $0.01 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items. The company posted revenues of $1.34 billion for the quarter ended March 2023, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 13.91%. This compares to year-ago revenues of $649 million.
Greif Inc. GEF reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.77 in second-quarter fiscal 2023 (ended Apr 30, 2023), which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.31. The bottom line fell 26.6% year over year. Sales decreased 21.5% year over year to $1,309 million. The top line missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,391 million.
Consequently, stock prices of Trip.om and Greif appreciated 5.4% and 9.1%, respectively. Trip.com currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Wholesale inventories fell 0.1% in April, lower-than-the consensus estimate of a decline of 0.2%. The data for March was revised downward to a decline of 0.2% from a break-even reported earlier.
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