Stocks finished lower Thursday. The Dow declined 122 points to 26,307 while the S&P 500 slipped 0.2% to 2,917. The Nasdaq Composite was off 0.2% to 8,036.
The major averages extended losses as investors continued to digest the latest monetary policy updates. Yesterday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggested weaker inflation figures may be attributed to “transitory” factors, reducing speculation of a potential interest rate cut in late 2019. Treasury prices were weaker following the surprisingly less “dovish” Fed talk, with the yield on the 10-year note up four basis point to 2.54%.
The Energy sector paced the decline as NYMEX WTI crude eased 3.1% to $61.64/barrel following a surprise surge in U.S. stockpiles. Technology shares also underperformed as shares of Microsoft slipped 1.3% to $126.21. Financials and Healthcare shares outperformed as MetLife added 3.7% to $47.41 and AmerisourceBergen gained 5.0% to $77.06 after both companies topped earnings estimates. In other earnings news, Under Armour jumped 3.5% to $22.82 after delivering an earnings beat and raising its forward guidance for 2019.
On the data front, U.S. nonfarm productivity advanced at a 3.6% annualized clip in the first quarter, the fastest pace since 2014. An additional report showed durable goods orders rose 2.6% in March. Separately, initial jobless claims came in at 230,000 in the most recent period, matching last week’s figure.
In commodities, COMEX gold lost 1.0% $1,272.00/ounce amid a stronger dollar.
Breadth was negative on issues by 8:7 on the NYSE and essentially even on issues on the Nasdaq. Composite NYSE Volume totaled more than 3.7 billion shares.