U.S. Stocks Come Under Pressure After Seeing Initial Strength

Stocks moved modestly higher at the start of trading on Thursday but have come under pressure over the course of the morning. The major averages have all pulled back into negative territory, adding to the losses posted in the previous session.

The major averages have climbed off their worst levels in recent trading but currently remain in the red. The Dow is down 186.59 points or 0.5 percent at 35,744.46, the Nasdaq is down 25.48 points or 0.2 percent at 15,896.09 and the S&P 500 is down 5.90 points or 0.1 percent at 4,682.77.

The downturn on Wall Street may reflect concerns about whether stocks can continue to push to record highs amid elevated inflation and the possibility the Federal Reserve could accelerate plans to tighten monetary policy.

A steep drop by Cisco Systems (CSCO) is weighing on the Dow, with the networking giant down by 8.4 percent after hitting its lowest intraday level in almost six months.

The sell-off by Cisco comes after the company reported better than expected fiscal first quarter earnings but provided disappointing guidance.

On the other hand, strength among tech stocks has helped limit the downside for the Nasdaq following strong results from chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA).

Shares of Nvidia are jumping by 9.3 percent after the company reported better than expected third quarter results and provided upbeat guidance.

Retailers Macy’s (M), Kohl’s (KSS) and BJ’s Wholesale (BJ) have also moved to the upside after reporting quarterly results that exceeded analyst estimates.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits were nearly unchanged in the week ended November 13th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 268,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 269,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 260,000 from the 267,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the slight decrease and the revision to the previous week’s number, jobless claims once again hit their lowest level since the week ended March 14, 2020.

A separate report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed a significant acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of November.

Oil service stocks are extending the sell-off seen in the previous session, with the Philadelphia Oil Service Index plunging by 2.8 percent to its lowest intraday level in almost two months.

The continued weakness among oil service stocks comes as the price of crude oil for December delivery is slipping $0.22 to $78.14 a barrel after falling sharply on Wednesday.

Substantial weakness has also emerged among tobacco stocks, as reflected by the 2.5 percent slump by the NYSE Arca Tobacco Index.

Networking stocks are also seeing considerable weakness on the disappointing guidance from Cisco, dragging the NYSE Arca Networking Index down by 1.4 percent.

Gold, transportation and natural gas stocks have also shown significant moves to the downside, while semiconductor and retail stocks have moved notably higher.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index slipped by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the downside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 0.5 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both down by 0.3 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries have pulled back off their best levels but continue to see modest strength. As a result, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 1.2 basis points at 1.592 percent.

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