Stocks finished mixed on Thursday. The Dow fell 22 points to 24,553 while the S&P 500 added 3 points to 2,642. The Nasdaq Composite gained 47 points to 7,073.
The Dow and S&P 500 fluctuated between gains and losses as strength in Technology shares balance renewed trade concerns. Comments from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that the U.S. and China are “miles and miles from getting a resolution” weighed on sentiment. On the data front, initial jobless claims fell to a 49-year low of 199,000 in the most recent week. Research firm Markit’s flash readings on service and manufacturing activity showed both sectors expanded modestly in January. A separate release revealed the leading indicator dipped 0.1%, the second negative reading since January 2016.
Eight of 11 S&P 500 sectors ended in positive territory. Technology shares outperformed as bellwether chipmaker Texas Instruments jumped 6.9% to $102.09 after topping consensus earnings estimates. Energy stocks also outperformed in sympathy with higher oil prices. Airlines lifted Industrials with American Airlines adding 6.4% to $33.66 after releasing strong quarterly results. Consumer Staples was a notable laggard with spice maker McCormick tumbling 10.5% to $124.35 after missing analyst estimates on the top and bottom line.
Breadth was positive on issues by 2:1 on the NYSE and 3:2 on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume was more than 3.3 billion shares.
Treasuries strengthened with the yield on the 10-year note down four basis points to 2.71%. In commodities, WTI crude gained 1.1% to $53.20/barrel. COMEX gold fell 0.3% to $1,279.70/ounce amid a stronger dollar.