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25-Jan2019

US markets end mostly higher on Thursday

The US markets ended mostly higher on Thursday after a wave of better-than-expected corporate earnings was balanced against fears around softening global economic conditions. Some support also came in on report that the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims fell to their lowest level in almost fifty years in the week ended January 19. The report said initial jobless claims slid to 199,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level of 212,000. The drop surprised participants, who had expected jobless claims to rise to 220,000 from the 213,000 originally reported for the previous week. With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 197,000 in November of 1969.

However, gains remain capped, suggesting US economic growth may slow down this year, the Conference Board released a report showing a modest decrease by its index of leading US economic indicators in the month of December. The Conference Board said its leading economic index edged down by 0.1 percent in December after rising by 0.2 percent in November. The slight drop by the index matched street estimates. The modest decrease by the leading index reflected negative contributions from stock prices, the ISM New Orders Index and building permits.

Nasdaq gained 47.69 points or 0.68 percent to 7073.46 and S&P 500 was up by 3.63 points or 0.14 percent to 2642.33, while Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 22.38 points or 0.09 percent to 24553.24.


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