Stocks finished mixed Thursday. The Dow was off 134 points to 26,462 while the S&P slipped a point to 2,926. The Nasdaq Composite gained 16 points to 8,118.
The Nasdaq Composite posted modest gains as positive earnings from Tech-related companies boosted investor sentiment. Microsoft added 3.3% to $129.15 as growth in cloud computing led to a 14% jump in sales from the same period last year. The Tech giant also briefly topped $1 trillion in market capitalization for the first time in early trading. The Communications Services sector paced gains with Facebook rallying 5.9% to $193.26 after the social media giant topped consensus revenue expectations.
The Dow and S&P 500 finished lower as disappointing earnings reports from the Industrials group weighed on both indexes. Shares of 3M tumbled 12.9% to $190.72 after missing analyst projections and offering tepid forward guidance. Today’s sharp decline marked the worst trading session for the company since “Black Monday” (Oct. 19th, 1987). Elsewhere, Illinois Tool Works slipped 3.6% to $151.21 after revealing organic sales growth unexpectedly declined.
Treasuries were weaker with the yield on the 10-year note up one basis point to 2.53%. In commodities, WTI crude slipped 1.4% to $64.98/barrel. On the data front, initial jobless claims came in at 230,000 and posted the largest weekly increase in over 19 months. A separate release revealed durable goods orders jumped 2.7% in March.
Breadth was positive on issues by 2:1 on the NYSE and by 7:5 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.1 billion shares.