By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com – US stock markets opened in a subdued fashion Thursday, with most of the momentum from the recent vaccine-driven rally slipping, and investors wary of buying too early in the news of a fiscal stimulus package from a divided congress.
The news from the Department of Labor that initial jobless claims were declining for the first time in three weeks provided only moderate support, but it was enough to put a modest negative session in the green overnight.
By 9:35 a.m.ET (1435 GMT), it was up 78 points, or 0.3% to 29,950 points, up 0.1% and up 0.3%.
Initial unemployment claims were 712,000 last week, compared to 775,000 the week before, which is the most current snapshot of the available labor market. The official November labor market report, due out on Friday and expected to show an increase of 459,000 non-agricultural jobs, only covers the period through the middle of the month.
Of the early movers, Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 share gained 3.2% after Goldman Sachs (NYSE 🙂 upgraded its stance to “buy” from “neutral,” raising the price target to $ 780, taking into account the faster acceptance of electric vehicles.
Chevron (NYSE 🙂 share, meanwhile up 0.1% after the oil company cut another $ 5 billion from its pivotal case scenario for annual capital expenditures through 2025. Oil and gas supplies in general have been overshadowed by a further slowdown until the start of an important meeting between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, notably Russia.
The meeting had been postponed for two days due to disagreements about whether or not to increase production early next year.
Elsewhere, stock of Splunk (NASDAQ 🙂 was down 25% after the data analytics software vendor reported a larger loss for the fiscal third quarter, as well as an 11% drop in revenue.
The increase in demand for remote IT services due to the pandemic was also reflected in positive earnings reports from two cybersecurity companies, Crowdstrike and Secureworks. Crowdstrike (NASDAQ 🙂 share rose 14.8%, while Secureworks (NASDAQ 🙂 share rose 10.5%.
On the other hand, Kroger (NYSE 🙂 stock fell 5.8% to an eight-month low after a disappointing quarterly update that accelerated the move out of defensive supermarket stock. DraftKings (NASDAQ 🙂 stock fell 2.4% after UK-based Flutter Entertainment (LON 🙂 increased its stake in fantasy sports rival FanDuel, a sign of more intense competition.
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